Marriage registration eradicates social curses in Rangpur char areas

Marriage registration eradicates social curses in Rangpur char areas

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It was quite unthinkable even a decade ago that the extremely poor char people living on the Brahmaputra basin could think about marriage registration or society without social curses like child marriage and dowry.But now, the char dwellers have been avoiding child marriage, dowry and polygamy and arranging marriage of their sons and daughters with proper registration at right ages following growing social awareness among them.Besides, the char people, who were married some 10, 15, 30 years back or even earlier, have now been registering their marriage and advancing them forward though their cent percent wedding was child marriage without registrations even a decade ago.The success has been achieved following comprehensive motivational activities being conducted by different NGOs as implementing organisations of the Chars Livelihood Programme (CLP) since 2004 in the riverine char areas.According to sources, UKaid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have been funding implementation of the CLP activities.The comprehensive CLP activities are aimed eradicate extreme poverty of the have-nots group char families through income generation activities to improve their livelihoods, life standards and change socioeconomic conditions to lead better life.Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam said the multi-dimensional CLP activities are being implemented successfully by different NGOs in the riverine char islands of ten northwestern riverine districts to achieve the goals.He said more than 5.17 lakh people of targeted 1.33 lakh extremely poor char households are being benefited now under the CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and phase-II during 2010-2016 periods to improve livelihoods as well as life standards.The things are changing fast following socioeconomic development in recent years helping the char people to overcome curses like child marriage, dowry and polygamy and arranging marriage of their sons and daughters now with proper registration, he said.Head of Programme Coordination Monjusree Saha of RDRS Bangladesh said the char people lived in utter poverty for decades, but they are now achieving socioeconomic uplift and eradicating social curses to lead meaningful life.Couples Ramjan Ali, 77, and Ayesha, 65, Abul Hossain, 67, and Feroza, 56, Majibar Rahman, 66, and Khatun, 57, of Khamar Banspatari char village in Chilmari upazila of Kurigram registered marriage at a ceremony after many years of wedding.Couples Nurul Haque, 47, and Majeda, 40, Habibur, 47, and Feroza Begum, 37, Somed Ali, 38, and Mamtaz, 27, Momin, 35, and Joy Bhanu, 28, said they are feeling them as worthy citizens by registering their marriage even after 10 to 22 years of wedding.“Now, we understand about a better future, but earlier not,” they said and vowed to stop marriage with dowry, child marriage or marriage without registration in building a happy and prosperous society through ensuring planned families.Similarly, fifteen couples registered their marriages at another recent ceremony in remote Arazi Kanua char village under Kawnia upazila in Rangpur after 20 to 35 years of beginning conjugal life through overcoming the wraths of social curses.The exceptional ceremony got a cheerful look when Marriage Registrar Abdul Aziz first registered the marriage of couple Abdul Mazid, 60, and Zamila Khatun, 52, after 35 years of their wedding.“It was quite unbelievable even a decade back that people living in this remote char village could even think about marriage registration,” said the couple who did not know about marriage registration when their parents arranged their marriage.Chairman of local Tepamadhupur union under Kawnia upazila Alim Uddin in the ceremony said the example has created positive impact among the backward char people in building a society free from social curses.At another recent ceremony, couple Saiful, 57, and Belly, 50 of Paschim Bagdohra char village under Gangachara upazila in Rangpur registered their marriage in the village after 36 years of wedding by overcoming wraths of social curses.Congratulating the couples for registering marriage after many years, Senior Programme Manager of Women Rights Unit of RDRS Bangladesh Mezbahun Nahar said the process has been becoming popular to free the backward char society from all social curses. -BSS, Rangpur

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