Exemplary courage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:28 AM, January 29, 2020

Exemplary courage

Indian schoolgirl wins bravery award for thwarting trafficker

An Indian schoolgirl who won a bravery award after she helped a child escape a trafficker, is to become the inspiration for a new anti-slavery campaign, officials said yesterday.

Carolyn Malsawmtluangi, from the northeastern state of Mizoram, was honoured by the government on India’s Republic Day last week for “showing exemplary courage” after she stopped a human trafficker who had kidnapped a seven-year-old girl from a neighbouring village.

Malsawmtluangi, 11, first spotted the trafficker when playing volleyball with friends in June last year but assumed they were a mother and daughter, and even asked if the young girl wanted to join their game.

But after police raised the alarm over a trafficker the next day, Malsawmtluangi soon spotted the woman again and began talking to her before agreeing to take care of the girl while the woman ran an errand.

It was then that both girls escaped - Malsawmtluangi carrying the child on her shoulders and running home while avoiding stones hurled by the angry trafficker.

“If Carolyn had not stopped them, the trafficker would have disappeared with the little girl,” said Khawlhrinj Lalhlupuii, a secretary at the Mizoram State Council for Child Welfare that recommended her for the annual award.

“She was very brave to understand the danger to the little girl and save her,” she said. “We plan to share her story in all schools and create awareness on trafficking and safety.”

Of the nearly 6,000 victims of human trafficking in India each year, about half were children, according to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau.

Most are women and children from rural areas looking to escape poverty - lured to cities each year by traffickers who promise good jobs, but sell them into modern day slavery. 

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