Determination changes child bride Johura’s fate

by Fazlur Rahman Raju

DHAKA, April 9, 2017 (BSS) - Johura, hailing from Bagber village under Rupganj upazila in Narayanagnj district, was only 12-year-old in 2003 when she was married off with a man who was nearly double-aged than her.

After their marriage, Johura's husband Abdul Baten Mia and members of her in-laws family forced her for dowry. She was tortured regularly as she refused to bring dowry. Amid torture, she conceived and gave birth to a baby girl in 2003 within 10 months of her marriage.

But the fate of Johura had remained same as before. Her husband and members of in-laws house started torture her and her little daughter. After three years of her marriage, she divorced her husband and returned to her father's home in 2006.

When she came back to father's house, Johura was blamed for divorce by her family members.They also denied to help Johura.

But she never lost her hope and restarted her study amid resistance of family members. Days were passing with heavy pressure and mental torture.

When helpless Johura started losing her hope about life, an opportunity had come before her. Encouraged by a local NGO worker, she took training on makeup in 2014.

Later, she launched a beauty parlour at her father's house with only Tk 3350. Within very few months she became a known face among the women of the locality.

As her business got momentum, than she decided to shift her business to local Bagber area from her bedroom.

When she told her parents about her future plan, they tried to prevent her from going to market.But determined Johura rented a one-room shop at Bagber and started her new journey.

When her business was shining, her family members again created pressure on her to marry again. Even they started neglecting Johura's daughter Joyeeta and also tried to marry off her in 2015 when she was only 12.

But indefatigable Johura, rejecting her parent's proposals, left the parent's house and started living at a room adjacent with her beauty parlour.

In that year, she got admitted to Murapara Degree College and took higher training on beautification and business management.

Now, Johura earned monthly Tk 30000-Tk 40000. She was also elected as a member of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce. Her daughter Joyeeta is now a student of classeight.

Remembering her odd days, Johura said: I had passed all bad bays ... now I'm looking forward and determined to serving the society along with my male counterpart.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)