If you are 7 years old and unhappy about something, what would you do?

Probably cry your eyes out, throw a tantrum and then completely forget about it!

That was not the case with 7-year-old Indian girl, Hanifa Zaara, who went straight to the police to ask them to arrest her father for breaking a promise!


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2 years ago, Hanifa, who was in nursery school, asked her father, Ehsanullah, to build a toilet in their home because she was too embarrassed to defecate in public. Her father promised her that he will build a toilet for her if she topped her class.

So, little Hanifa did just that!

She has been achieving excellent grades in school for the past 2 years and her father started building a toilet for her. Unfortunately, he couldn’t complete the project because he lost his job and could no longer afford the cost of building a toilet.

Hanifa first decided to give her father the cold shoulder when she refused to speak to him for almost 10 days for not building a toilet. When that failed, she wrote a letter of complaint to the police, gathered all her medals and trophies for her excellent academic achievements and dragged her mother to the local police station to lodge a report against her father.

The letter written by Hanifa to the police

The police officer in charge, A Valarmathi, did not take things lightly and immediately summoned Ehsanullah to the police station. She proceeded to broker a peace agreement between father and daughter and then urged district officials to build more toilets in Hanifa’s neighbourhood!

Ms Zaara with a district official who has promised to build more toilets

Thanks to this brave girl, her neighbourhood will now have more than 500 toilets and Hanifa Zaara will be made the local ambassador of the national Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) that is aiming to build over 111 million latrines across India in the next 5 years.

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As the Editor of Varnam MY, Shangkharee thinks it is important that a site represents the Tamil diaspora in Malaysia and across the globe. Between scouring for current stories, spilling unpleasant views and sipping on endless cups of coffee, she aims to deliver stories and shape a more inquisitive and critical community.