Would-be Indian child bride fights back and helps others

Rajni Devi (center, in light pink) helps coach girls in her small village, in Uttar Pradesh, on how to get an education and achieve dreams beyond marriage.

Uttar Pradesh, India (CNN)Rajni Devi liked school and had big dreams. She was not going to end up like so many other girls in India: married off as a child bride.

Rajni was 14 years old when her mother told her she must get married, but she refused. She was determined to stay in school, and she wasn't ready to be a mother yet.
However, for a girl in rural India, it wasn't as simple as just saying no.
    According to UNICEF, India has the highest number of child brides in the world, with about 17 million children between the ages of 10 and 19 in the country who are married.
      This despite the fact that child marriage in India was officially outlawed in 2006. And earlier this year, in an attempt to protect child brides, India's Supreme Court ruled that sex with minors was considered rape.
      Despite these laws, poverty, concerns over security, and cultural and social norms often drive families and communities to continue the practice, experts say.
      But Rajni fought back.
      She fought hard. She spent weeks fighting, reasoning with and coaxing her parents. Every day, she told them she didn't want to get married. She'd rather die than get married, she said. She reminded her mother of her own struggles as a teenager spent married and bearing children.