Sundance film: How a garden helped one girl’s battle against child marriage

Monika is 16 and from West Bengal in India. Her father wants her to be married. He says, “A girl isn’t something you can keep at home, after all.” Watch how Monika proves him wrong.

After my garden grows” tells the story of Monika, who is determined to succeed with her micro-agriculture business despite the pressure she feels to get married at 16.

She is one of the 40,000 girls on the Girls Project, a program of the nonprofit Landesa, in partnership with the government of West Bengal, which teaches girls about their rights and how to utilise small plots of land to improve their family’s nutrition, help them stay in school and reduce their vulnerability to child marriage. Across India, nearly half of all girls are married before they reach 18.

The short film was created by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Megan Mylan, for the Short Film Challenge, a collaboration between Sundance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which invites filmmakers to create short videos that shed light on extreme hunger and poverty.

Watch it here:

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