Nazma says it's almost impossible for her rickshaw-van driver husband to pay for her children's education, so she initially wanted to arrange marriages for their daughters
Facing financial hardship, Nazma Begum, a mother of four daughters in Meherpur, was forced to seek permission from the Upazila Parishad office to marry off her underage girls, an absurd yet very reasonable request in the context of Bangladesh.
However, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer in Meherpur's Mujibnagar sympathized with the woman's problem and gave the woman money, with which the girls can continue their education for eight months.
Talking to the girls, this correspondent found they also dream of continuing their education.
Different media reports show us how local influentials in many cases facilitate child marriage because girls are seen as a burden or it’s too much of a hassle. However, the initiative of Mujibngar’s UNO is exemplary for all across the country.
Nazma's youngest daughter is an infant. Her three other daughters are in eighth grade, seventh grade, and sixth grade. Nazma says it's almost impossible for her rickshaw-van driver husband to pay for her children's education, so she initially wanted to marry the girls off.
Nazma said: "People say it's better to be sentenced to jail for arranging child marriages than to deal with other problems we have to face if the girls remain home.
"We don't have the capability to continue education for our daughters. If we were assisted in raising them I would have never thought of marrying off my daughters at a young age."
Nazma feels there has been a moral degradation of the young generation in her village due to which parents of daughters want to marry off their children early.
Mujibnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Usman Gani said: "I have decided to pay for the education of three sisters for eight months when they promised they would study harder and get established. I pray that their dreams come true and they can bring smiles to their parents' faces becoming successful one day."