Sumaiya is a 15-year-old who is in her fourth grade in school. She is the youngest of four sisters. Each of her sisters dropped out of school and are heavily involved in domestic labor and household work. Sumaiya comes from a poor Muslim family with parents who are daily wage laborers. Sumaiya’s dream is to be a school teacher.
When HASUS, our Implementing Partner conducted a Safe Village Program in her school, Sumaiya was very attentive in listening to the team. As part of our Safe Village program in school, we also educate adolescent girls on the dangers of early child marriage and explain the physical and mental consequences of it, and how it may lead to sex trafficking.
One day, Sumaiya was informed by her dad that she was going to have an arranged marriage. Sumaiya was in shock and tried really hard to convince her mother that she would like to continue her studies. Her parents were adamant that she marry this unknown man from Mumbai. According to her Father, Sumaiya would be really happy with this handsome man as he earns a good income. Sumaiya was told not to go to school from that day on.
One day when no one was at home, Sumaiya ran away from her house to the school. She cried and convinced her headmaster to stop this marriage with an unknown man. The headmaster immediately called local Block Development Officer [BDO] and childline. Childline team came to Sumaiya’s home and educated them on the consequences of early child marriage.
Childline along with ORA partner HASUS motivated Sumaiya’s family to work for their daughter’s safety and long term happiness.
Now Sumaiya is back in school with her friends. She and her friends decided to stand against child marriage and continue their education in their school – to be Guardian Girls for each other.
It is our vision to see all girls in the village be “guardian girls” for each other, who know that they are VALUABLE, DETERMINED and are on a MISSION.
It is Operation Red Alert’s most critical mission that every girl would know why they should be a guardian girl, what really happens when someone from the city approaches their family and promises a better life, who traffickers are, and how to be on RED ALERT!