A Dance Movement Therapy session was conducted with Child Brides of Loodha Basti, Samalkha Block, Panipat Haryana on 18th July 2018. The 13 participants of the session belonged to Bawariya Community, a settled nomad community, which faces extreme marginalization in terms to access to education, resources and livelihood. There has been rampant violence against the women in this community, who have been subjected to regressive practices such as child marriage, leading to high maternal mortality, morbidity and infant mortality. Upon MFF’s engagement effort with the community under the project, “More Than Just Brides”, it was realized that the young adolescent girls in the community were going through cycles of abuse, violence and trauma but were not easily accessible for conventional interventions. Therefore, it was decided to introduce a Dance Movement therapy to enable safe spaces of expression and collectivization for these girls and to ensure their psycho-social wellbeing.
This was the first of its kind of session with the group and therefore, substantial time was spent on rapport building, with the help of conversations and singing folk songs with them. The session further progressed to a stage where the facilitator introduced basic dance movements to lead the participants to practice them with their folk songs. This eventually led to them dancing in groups, opening up, exercising mobility, which is debarred in their everyday lives. The session ended with a debriefing session where the girls were asked about their experience and if they would like to attend it again. The response from the group was encouraging where most of girls wanted to attend the session again.