A teenage girl, Razia Sultana, from the village of Uttar Pradesh showed her courage to liberate 48 children from the devil of child labour bondage. This brave girl not only freed the poor children from working but also motivated them to go to school. Her inspiration and hard work soon got noticed and was awarded with the UN Education Award on the Malala Day.
Malala day has significance behind its glory. This day was named after a child activist from Pakistan named Malala Yousafzai. She fought against all evils and helped small children to get an education instead of serving child labor. Her motivation and determination helped hundreds of children and young girls to come out of the shell and go to school.
Razia Sultan, herself was a victim of child labour. The class XII student would never have been able to get qualified if she had not fought against all odds. She started working and earning for her family at the age of five. Being an inhabitant of the Nanglakhumba village in Meerut, she was forced to pursue the work of stitching footballs along with the rest of the family members to help her father who worked in a football factory.
The inhabitants of Nanglakhumba Village were mainly Muslims and it was mandatory for the girls to stay at home and work instead of going to school. There were associations who wanted to provide the children their right to get educated. An activist of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) from their neighboring village, Sher Khan, says that, “Education was considered an unnecessary distraction that hurts the family’s income”. The BBA activists also initiated a programme to make the villagers aware of child education.
In spite of lot of hard working and determination, the activists faced lots obstruction from the parents. They did not allow their children to go to schools and forced them to continue football stitching. The parents totally refused education for girls. This was also a same case with Razia’s family. Her father refused to agree with the words of the activists. But now after his daughter’s success and fame he feels proud.
This continued for prolonged two years after Razia finally succeeded in removing the devil of child labour in most of the families of her village. She let 48 children free from doing work and earning money from football stitching. She also convinced many parents to send her girl child to school. Finally after lots of hassles, Razia received the prize of her uphill struggle. She was elected as the head of a Bal Panchayat in her village. Later on, Razia Sultana also became a leader of National Children’s Parliament.
Razia faced many obstacles during her journey. Parents thought that she would be a bad influence for their children and prevented their kids to join her. But this could not hold for long. After her leadership in the Bal Panchayat, Razia took responsibilities like constructing toilets in schools and reconstructing the school buildings. Khan said, “We were surprised by her indomitable spirit at such a young age”.