ASF celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child 2017
Ms. Momotaz Begom MP, Honorable Member of Parliament, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh had grace the event with her presence as the chief guest. Ms. Sally-Anne Vincent, Acting high commissioner, Australian High Commission, Prof. Mehtab Khanom, Psychologist and Ms. Sheepa Hafiza, Executive Director, Ain o Salish Kendra was the special guest in the event.
Ms. Selina Ahmed, Executive Director, ASF delivered the welcome speech and the closing ceremony of the program was announced by the concluding statement of the chair Ms. Anna Minz, Brac.
Acid Survivors Lilima Khatun-Jessore, Amina Khatun-Sirajganj and Shamima Akter, Nowga were awarded from Acid Survivors Foundation for their leadership role to rebuild their life with dignity. Mukta Akter Mou, Shabana Akter and`Ghashfaring' were also awarded from brac for their intervention to stop child marriage.
The awarded survivors are:
Lilima became a victim of acid attack in 1997. She was only a 2nd grade student when it happened. With a covenant between two families Lilima married a guy named Rustom from her village. During marriage the agreement was till she gets older groom’s family will wait. But grooms side broke the pact and threatened to take away Lilima. That time Lilima was 8 years old and her groom 40. As Lilima’s family didn’t handover her to grooms family, 3 months later while she was asleep at 1 AM they poured acid over her. Liquid acid melted her skin, liquefied her flesh, burned off her face, eyes, neck, hand and ears. She lost her vision and became blind on left eye. Immediately Lilima was admitted to Monirampur hospital. 2 weeks later she was taken to Jessore Sadar Hospital. She was treated for 3-4 months there and went home after. Lilima was admitted to Acid Survivors Foundation on 04.07.2004. She had undergone multiple surgeries at ASF. To bring her physique to usual state again, not only surgical support was provided, Lilima was taken to various specialist doctors for problems of eyes, teeth and ear. She came back to her normal life with the support and assistance from ASF. She was given an opportunity to work as casual worker at Medical unit of ASF. She started working at ASF on 22.06.2008. After observing her skills and devotion ASF made her a permanent employee at Medical unit on 14.01.2009. This is how Lilima started her career. At present she is working at ASF efficiently and financially supporting her parents. She is also standing in support of other family members. Crossed over all the barriers in life she has started to see herself as a conqueror. Lilima wants to serve those who are victims of acid survivors and other violence. She wants to stand by them, with them at all times. Lilima always say that, “I find peace in the service I provide for everyone.” She wants to move forward with everyone’s inspiration.
Name: Amina Khatun Neela
Date of attack: 19.02.2008
Amina Khatun is from Shahjadpur upazila of Sirajganj district. She became a victim of child marriage while she was a student in ninth grade. Husband, family all were beyond her understanding. Her education got completely stopped. Though she couldn’t go to school still she continued her study at home, hiding from family. She wanted to study further and didn’t agree to go abroad; cause she heard that she was about to be sold by her husband at Saudi Arabia.
As an act of revenge she suffered acid attack on February 19, 2008. First she came to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and from there she was admitted to Acid Survivors Foundation. After 5 months of treatment she returned home and took a fresh start of her schooling again. Combating all the obstacles she successfully passed her S.S.C exam. Later on she completed H.S.C.
Meanwhile she began working to prevent all forms of violence against women & child. She joined at a local NGO and participated in awareness raising campaigns against child marriage. Apart from that she started to work for the survivors of acid attacks. She has significant role in reducing violence against women and children. Latter she was elected as District Coordinator of Survivors group formed by Acid Survivors Foundation. She was also chosen for District JOYITA award. Currently she is doing her MBA after completing BBA and working at ASF alongside. She dreams of becoming a Govt. official concluding her study and work for girls like her suffering from child marriage and acid violence.
Name: Shamima Akter
Age: 24 Years
Date of attack: 21.05.2012
Shamima, is a young woman from Chak Durgarayam, a village in Naogaon district. Shamima is second among 5 siblings in the family. She had tremendous interest in study from her childhood. In 2011 when Shamima was a 2nd year student in college, a marriage proposal came to her family and with the coalescence of both family on December, 2011 she got married. In first 6-7 months everything went smoothly. After that it was constant mental torture upon Shamima. Her husband wanted that she would give up her education. Her husband was mad about this issue and considering this acid was thrown upon Shamima on 21.05.2012. Her face, eyes, throat and hands got completely burnt & disfigured. Shamima came to ASF through BRAC and received treatment. After initial treatment she returned to her parent’s residence and started her study once again. Later on she passed H.S.C exam successfully and at present is a second year Degree student. Leaving behind all the obstacles Shamima is moving forward in her life with an objective. Like every other girl in the society she wants to live with dignity. Shamima desires to work for the disadvantaged people in society. To prevent violence against women and children in community she has significant role. Since 2016 she started working as a volunteer in the “The Youth Ending Hunger Project”. She received JOYITA award from Upazila level in 2013.