Child marriage on in Satkhira
The scourge of child marriage is still prevalent in the district as a section of guardians often resort to deceitful ways to dodge prevention attempt by different quarters including the administration.
“Satkhira District Child Marriage Prevention Committee has prevented 61 child marriages since its formation on July 27 last year. But we failed to prevent 151 others, even after being informed,” said Sakibur Rahman, administrative chief of the committee formed under a non-government initiative.
“Sometimes the guardians of underage boys and girls arrange their marriage secretly or go to other districts for the purpose,” he said.
“After knowing that marriage between Farhana Parveen, 13, daughter of Alfaz Karigor, and Bappi Hossain, 20, son of Saidur Dala, was arranged at Kushkhali village of Satkhira Sadar upazila on Friday, we informed the administration and local journalists.
“Around 9:30pm on Friday, a bridal party comprising of 20 to 22 people went to Alfaz Karigor's house where the marriage rituals along with a feast were arranged.
“Asked by the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Satkhira Sadar, a dafadar (village guard) of Kushkhali union went to the spot and conveyed the UNO's order to cancel the marriage as the girl is below 18 years and the boy below 21, Sakibur said.
The bridal party left the scene and the fathers of the girl and the boy in presence of a union parishad (UP) member gave an undertaking not to marry their children before they reach the legal age for marriage.
Farhana, a Class VII student of Kushkhali High School in Satkhira, said, “The boy's father had been putting pressure on my family for marrying me with the boy. Lastly my father agreed, as they are richer than us.”
“I want to continue my study. I will not marry before completion of education,” she said.
Sakibur Rahman said the 31-member Satkhira District Child Marriage Prevention Committee formed a 10-member action team to check the social menace.
“Whenever we get information about child marriage we send mobile courts and policemen to prevent it,” said Satkhira Deputy Commissioner Abul Kashem Md Mohiuddin.