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Saika Bano and Saleha Bibi are sisters hailing from a remote village Modidih in Jharkhand. The village is predominantly populated by Muslims and Schedule Caste families. Both of them study in eleventh standard at Government School. Though not an adult, Saleha was married off at a tender age following the norm of their village where girls are married off as soon as they hit puberty. Their father and four elder brothers earn their livelihood as daily wage labourers and they live with their families in Kolkata. Saleha was a victim of an abusive and violent marriage following which she returned to her mother’s place in Modidih. The level of awareness with respect to law and education is extremely low and the teachers at the Government school had to spend most of their time sensitising the people on the values of education. Md. Alauddin, Head Master of the school counselled Saleha’s mother Tehmina Bibi on the importance of education. Tehmina was extremely worried about the future of her daughter due to her troubled marriage. During the course of counselling Md. Alauddin noticed the talent of both Saika and Saleha, they had extremely melodious voices and had a strong inclination towards singing. He initiated their training under the school’s music teacher. Later he got her enrolled under Ramadhar Paswan, an excellent singer himself and to the field staff of Rashtriya Jharkhand Seva Sansthan, a NGO supported by OneStage validated NGO CRY – Child Rights and You aided by our corporate partner Microsoft. Md. Alauddin opines “It is difficult to bring girls out of their homes in our society. And when it is girls from minority community like ours the task becomes much more difficult. This was my biggest challenge.” Under right training and mentorship both the girls not only went on to win District Level Singing Competition, but also came fourth at the State Level competitions. Both of them wishes to complete their schooling and aspires to go to college. Timely intervention through OneStage’s workplace giving programme Give As You Earn helped transform the lives of Saika and Saleha.

CRY is a CAF validated and supported NGO funded by our corporate partner Microsoft through our workplace giving programme Give As You Earn.

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