A Class-VIII girl student of a Sirajganj madrasa was saved from child marriage at the final stage. Her family was all set to marry off their underage second daughter at Puran Shailabari village of Sirajganj’s Khokshabari union. The administration intervened and saved the girl from being a victim of child marriage.
Requesting anonymity, a member of her family said stalkers of the area used to harass her. The father, Saad Akkas, thought marrying her off would be a way out to save her from the stalkers.
Not every girl in Sirajganj are lucky as Saad’s daughter. Unlike her, Urmi Khatun, a student of grade seven of Rahmatganj Girls’ High School, was found hanging after two months of her marriage. Her family claimed she was killed for dowry.
In a field visit to Sirajganj, the correspondent found that child marriage rate among secondary-level female students is more alarming in villages and char areas than Sirajganj town.
Anwar Hossain, principal of Hoimobala Girls High School, said at least 10 per cent students of his school are already married and most of the married girls drop out after their marriage.
Headmaster of SB Railway Colony High School, Ashraful Islam said 22 female students out of 550 are married in his school.
Bohutoli Pritilota High School’s headmaster Jainal Abedin said there are 3-4 married students on average in every class.
Child marriage and violence against women related programme officer of district women department, Fahima Al Ashraf told the correspondents that they arrange a number of workshops, seminars and other events on the negative impact of child marriage. However, these programmes have a little impact. The parents marry off their underage daughter secretly.
Districts administrator Mohammad Billal Hossain said a there were 750 incidents of child marriage in the district in the years of 2012 to 2014.
Vice president of Kazi Samity (marriage registrars association), Mohammad Helal Uddin said it is difficult to verify the birth certificates of the brides to asertain their ages.