Quarterly Bulletin

Bal Raksha Bharat

february 2020 | ISSUE-lll

OUR CHILD CHAMPIONS



Save the Children and partner Dhagagia Social Welfare Society identified Mamata through a local survey conducted to find the status of out of school children in Jharipara village of West Bengal. This survey identified that Mamata was missing from her village and the parents did not have her whereabouts. The field team contacted her aunt who got her employed and after a series of negotiations, traced the girl and rescued her.

"I still dread those days when my employers would beat me up, not let me sleep or eat. I would cry and want to talk to my parents, but they would not let me--not once, not twice but for long seven months.

I am Mamata, from Jharipara village in North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal. My parents are seasonal brick kiln workers earning not more than Rs. 2000 a month. Me and my two siblings always had a life of hardships. We have struggled on a daily basis for food, clothing and shelter, no wonder education was a luxury.

I had to drop out of school after completing 8th standard. My aunt insisted that I take up a job to support my family financially. She took me to Barasat in North 24 Parganas district, with the promise of a job with decent pay. I was promised a good life. Notwithstanding my fears, I went ahead with the offer.

My worst fears soon turned true. I was put to a full-time job of a domestic help. I was not let any time for eating or rest. I was ill-treated, insulted, demeaned by my employers within the house and in public. It got worse when they started abusing me physically. I would want to escape and talk to my family, I was not allowed to. I attended counseling sessions which made me gain back my confidence.

I cant forget the day when I met someone from Save the Children and then there was no looking back. I was enrolled in the Multi Activity Centre (MAC) run by the organization. I understood what it means to have a healthy and fulfilling childhood, the need to learn, be healthy and play.

After spending six months at the centre, I went back to school again. I am currently in class XI. Now I am part of the children’s group in my village leading collective actions for ensuring a happy childhood for all. I want to ensure that no children around me are victim of child labour, abuse or other forms of exploitation children are subjected to on a daily basis.

I want to become a school teacher and ensure that every child in my village and around is able to get what is rightfully theirs—Right to be Protected, Learn and Survive."