Aizawl: At just 11 years, this little girl from Mizoram has become an epitome of courage and bravery by saving a minor from being abducted.
She not only mustered the courage to rescue the innocent child from the clutches of her kidnapper, but also reunited her with her family after four days.
The braveheart will now be felicitated by a church and an NGO for her exemplary courage.
Meet Caroline Malsawmtluangi, a Class IV student of Muana Primary School, who became an Internet sensation after rescuing a seven-year-old girl, who was being allegedly kidnapped for trafficking by a woman.
Hailing from Zuangtui Vengthar, a locality on the northeastern outskirts of capital Aizawl, Caroline lives with her grandparents after her father left them a few years ago.
On June 12, Caroline hit the headlines with her stellar act of bravery.
In an exclusive interview with EastMojo, the 11-year-old girl, whose family fondly calls her “Bawihte-I”, narrated how she rescued the child from the clutches of her abductor.
On June 10, Caroline was playing volleyball with her friends near her house when she spotted a young woman, accompanied by a child, both new to the locality.
She did not pay heed to them as the presence of stranger is a common feature in their area, which is within the jurisdiction of Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC).
The next day, two policemen visited Zuangtui area looking out for a girl, who had gone missing from a village in Lunglei district.
“The policemen inquired about the missing girl and the alleged abductors from my family members. When they showed me the photographs, I told the policemen that I had seen the duo a day earlier,” Caroline said.
She said that she was asked by the policemen to inform them if she saw the girl and the woman again and gave a phone number to the girl’s mother Lalsangzeli on which she could reach the police.
On Wednesday evening, Caroline had gone to a tailor with her aunt after her school. She spotted the child and the woman again near a graveyard.
The woman approached Caroline and asked her if the labourer, working at a nearby resthouse, were still present there.
The woman claimed that the labourer borrowed money from her and told the girl to collect the money from them as she felt shy because of her face, which was swollen (around her eyes).
“I told her that I was a child, so I could not do such a job. I said I could instead look after the little girl while she went in search of the labourers,” Caroline said as she tricked the woman because she knew everything from the police.
As soon as the woman went to collect money from the workers, Caroline immediately picked up the girl, carried her on her back and ran towards her home.
When the woman saw Caroline running with the child, she ordered her to stop and threatened to hit her with stones.
But Caroline continued running as fast as she could till she reached her home, where her grandpa was sitting with a homeguard.
She told them that the woman kidnapper chased her for the child. “My grandpa and the home guard rushed towards the woman and caught her,” she said.
The woman was handed over to police the same day. The accused was later identified as Zonunsangi Fanai (31), a resident of Thualtu village in southern Mizoram’s Lunglei district. Fanai abducted the child from the village and brought her to Aizawl on Sunday, the police said.
She was handed over to Lunglei police on Wednesday night along with the child who was reunited with her parents, they said.
Born on 7 May 2008, Caroline, along with her mother and two elder brothers, Lalruatfela (19) and Lalruatsanga (15), lives with her grandparents at Zuangtui Vengthar. Her grandfather, Raldoliana (65), is a retired fourth-grade employee and earns a living out of manual labour after his retirement.
While Caroline is studying in Class IV at Muana Primary School at Zuangtui, Lalruatsanga is in Class VIII. The eldest one has stopped schooling due to financial constraints.
Sometimes, Caroline used to help her mother in selling vegetables from house to house. She had to leave her private English-medium school and join the government school due to financial hurdles, according to her grandmother Lalzikpuii.
Meanwhile, Community Health Action Network (CHAN), an anti-human trafficking group of the Salvation Army Church, and Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), the lone woman body in Mizoram, has announced that they will honour the girl for her exemplary courage on Monday.
CHAN programme director Major Lalliankunga told EastMojo that they will hold a function on Monday during which the girl will be honoured with an appreciation certificate and cash prize.