Naresh Chandra Roy was 27 years old when he joined the Liberation War in 1971.
He is now 75 and still fighting for a society free from exploitation and child marriage.
Known for his uncompromising attitude towards any wrongdoings in Domar upazila of the district, Roy has made a name for himself as a crusader against child marriage.
A marginalised farmer, Roy has so far stopped 20 child marriage incidents. People of the locality say Roy always rushes to the place where child marriage is likely to happen and convince the parents to stop it.
His selfless endeavour also involved a lot of risks.
Narrating one such bitter experience, freedom fighter Roy said, “Last year one Nabo Kishore arranged child marriage of his teen-aged daughter late at night. When I rushed there, his relatives attacked me alleging that I have come to break the marriage.
Finding no other way, I informed Domar upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) over cell phone who reached with police to foil the marriage attempt and put the father behind bars. I’m always against this kind of action and prefer to convince the parents’ instead,” he said.
Anti child marriage campaign is part of his everyday life. You will find him in the local markets to create awareness among people or engage students to stand up against early marriage, said Panga Motukpur Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Emdadul Huq.
Roy’s relentless effort ensured Mouja Panga village under Panga Motukpur union child marriage free,” recognised Umme Fatima, UNO of Domar upazila.
Roy is the president of Panga
Motukpur union unit’s Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC), formed countrywide in the district, upazila and union levels at the behest of Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2016.
He voluntarily works against early marriage alongside his ACC role,” said Md Nurannabi, Domar upazila unit president of CPC and commander of upazila unit Muktijoddha Sangsad.
The freedom fighter’s second wife Minati Rani, however, lamented that the path that her husband has chosen was not smooth as vested quarters branded him as a bad man who breaks marriages of daughters of poor people.
Not only that, some even threatened him of dire consequences.
“Some put pressure on me to shun the fight against child marriage but I shall never retreat from my goal,” said a resolute Roy.
Nilphamari Deputy Commissioner (DC) Nazia Shirin, who honoured Roy along with a few others on March 11 at a function, organised in cooperation with UNICEF, said freedom fighter Naresh is a real nation builder.