A woman volunteer with the Noida chapter of Association for India’s Development (AID) was attacked and seriously injured while trying to rescue a minor girl being forced to marry in Sector 15 of Noida a few days ago. The girl was eventually rescued by her colleagues and produced before a Child Welfare Committee that has sent her to a shelter home.

On the night of September 18, AID Noida’s Linkan Subbuddhi received a call from one of the students enrolled with her community school that she was being forced into marriage. Since the girl was a minor, Ms. Subuddhi decided to rescue her. The following morning she met the girl and was talking to her when a man attacked her.

Ms. Subuddhi tried to escape but was cornered at a dead end. The assailant then attempted to strangle her, pushed her down on the road and then hit her repeatedly on the head with a brick.

The perpetrator fled the spot after the AID volunteer lost consciousness. Some members of the community rushed her to Kailash Hospital and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. The girl was rescued by the other AID volunteers.

Condemning the incident, an AID official said: “A few months ago, Ms. Subuddhi had intervened to protect the same student from forced marriage and then the girl’s mother had taken her to a village to marry her off. Ms. Subuddhi had then contacted the Child Welfare Committee and local authorities, who stepped in to protect the girl.”

The community members also detained the girl’s mother and handed her over to the police, which have received a complaint regarding the attack on the AID Noida volunteer.

“She remained in the ICU for 48 hours. Although she has a clot in the brain, doctors say she is now out of danger and has shown good recovery,” said her colleague Selva Ganpathy, adding that the 14-year-old girl was produced before the CWC which has sent her to a care home.

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