Vol. 5 Num 1108 Fri. July 13, 2007  
Front Page

Unique way to prevent child marriage

A class eight student, who was being forced to marry against her will, was saved thanks to the courageous step taken by her classmates.

It was a unique sight for the people of the small town, when some 50 schoolgirls took to the street yesterday demanding that the wedding of their 13-year old classmate Habiba Sultana, be called off.

Next, they submitted a memorandum to the officer-in-charge (OC) of Sadar Police Station urging him to take action to stop the child marriage.

When the OC informed Satkhira Police Super (SP) Mirza Abdullahel Baki of the incident, he hurriedly summoned Siddique Sana, Habiba's father, and asked him to stop his minor daughter's marriage, as it is illegal. Habiba's father had to sign a bond that he will not marry off his daughter while she is still a child.

The wedding was to take place at Puratan Satkhira in the town today.

Habiba, a student of Abdul Karim Girls' High School, did not agree when her hard-up father fixed her alliance with a 23-year-old neighbour youth, but she did not dare protest.

When she told her friends about it, one of them requested her father to talk to Habiba's father and stop the marriage, but he did not pay heed to it.

Finally, her friends decided to inform the Sadar OC when Habiba came to school yesterday and said that her father did not change his mind.

The schoolgirls' stand and action against child marriage has caused quite a stir in the town.

Contacted, SP Baki confirmed the incident.