Sumaiya Returns After 12 Years

Back in 2008, Sumaiya, a student in her 1st grade, got lost while she was on her way home from her school. While she was roaming lost on the street, a pedestrian noticed her and asked her for her home address. As she was unable to recall her home address, he took her to Barishal Hizla where she worked as a house help till 2018. In February 2018, she runs away from her place of work in a launch to Shariyatpur. When Palang Patrol Police found her, they filed a GD (GD No 1151, dated 14/02/2018) and sent her to the Women and Children Custodian Safe Housing Centre under the Social Welfare Department in Faridpur. At this end, when Sumaiya’s father, Md Sulaiman could not find her anywhere, he gave up looking for her. It is to be noted that ASK has been working with the Social Welfare Department since 2015, providing legal aid to the ones in custody. In June 2019, on being informed of Sumaiya’s issue, ASK started to search for her parents. ASK’s field staff succeeded in finding her parents and made arrangements for the child and her parents to communicate through phone. ASK dug out the details of Sumaiya’s school, the Commissioner of the locality, her father’s work place, as well as information received through various means by the locals, and ensured that Md Sulaiman was her father. Later on 19 June 2019, Md Sulaiman came to ASK’s office and talked with Sumaiya on the phone, and submitted all the necessary documents to ASK. Later, through the assistance of Advocate Md Jasim, an application was made to issue a Production Warrant (PW) to the Shariyatpur Court. 17 July was set as the date for the hearing, where ASK’s lawyer and field staff went to the Court to participate in the hearing. The Court handed over Sumaiya to her father.