Fourteen-year-old Suraiya Akter Risha was just another Dhaka teen – a happy child who would plan a fun weekend with friends and family members, a top achiever at school, maybe even a crazy cricket fan and a music lover – she was just another girl from next doors. Who could imagine that a simple trip to the tailor was the beginning of a lurking danger that would stalk her to school and back home?
The stalker – Obaidul – followed Risha on her way back home from Willes Little Flower School and tried to talk to her the day before he stabbed her on the Kakrail footbridge near the school. The parents and students nearby took her to a nearby hospital and in fact had even requested the school authorities for a vehicle. Surprisingly the authorities refused, stating that the matter was a police matter. Risha was then taken to the Islamic Bank Central Hospital by rickshaw.
"She didn't tell me anything [about the incident] thinking that I might get tensed. I wish she told me. I would have escorted her from the school," cried Ramzan Hossain, Risha's father.
Are we going to place special security forces around schools and footbridges as well, now that the issue of sexual harassments and murders on streets are once again on the rise? Or are we going to be in denial and treat this incident as an isolated one?
Ramzan and Tania have lost their first born child and also the ability to dream of good things for their other two children. We, however, have once again lost as elders, policy makers and a society, by failing to protect our young ones.