Married at the age of 14 to an abusive man, Faraha* has fought hard to give her daughter Tasmia* a good education and better opportunities.

Faraha was married off to her cousin at the young age of 14 and forced to move from Dhaka to her husband’s village. She led a peaceful life there until the birth of her daughter, Tasmia. After Tasmia was born, Faraha’s husband stopped going to work regularly and became abusive, often hitting her for no reason. She tolerated it for a long time, but it only got worse. When Tasmia was two years old, Faraha couldn’t take it anymore. She left her husband and moved to Dhaka to live with her parents.

She joined a garment factory to support herself and her family. Her husband soon came back into her life. He moved to Dhaka and started working as a driver. However, Tasmia needed to be cared for while both her parents worked.

"When I heard about Shapnapuri, Nagorik Uddyog’s day care centre for children of garment factory workers, I was curious. I was reassured when I personally visited the centre. Along with a safe space, the centre offered nutrition and healthcare for all children. The teachers were also warm and kind.”

Faraha’s husband quickly returned to his abusive ways. She later found out that he had married another woman back in his village and they eventually got divorced. However, he forcibly took Tasmia away and placed her in the care of his mother. In 2019, when the grandmother died, Tasmia’s stepmother became quite abusive towards her. Faraha’s parents then forced her ex-husband to send Tasmia back to her mother. Once she returned, Tasmia was enrolled in Nagorik Uddyog’s Alor Mela (drop-in centre) and started to receive an education as well as healthcare.

“No school here was ready to enrol her as she had fallen behind in her education. At Alor Mela, she was able to catch up with her studies and make friends too. She takes part in sports and other extra-curricular activities along with her education.”

Faraha is thankful to Nagorik Uddyog for the opportunity it is providing her daughter and other children in similar situations.