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Dhaka Tribune

Victims of child marriage: 2 examinees attend HSC exam leaving babies outside

Though we are always trying to raise awareness among parents, child marriage is still going on, said the concerned education officer

Update : 07 Nov 2022, 10:19 AM

Two female students who are victims of child marriage have been attending the ongoing HSC examination leaving their babies to their relatives outside the examination centres in Dumuria upazila of Khulna.

The students are Mim Khatun and Soma Akhter. 

A grandmother is waiting with a 10-day-old baby at the gate of Chuknagar Degree College Centre in Dumuria upazila while the baby's mother Mim Khatun is attending an exam in the centre. 

Dumuria College student Mim Khatun got married on November 20, 2020. Her husband is a resident of Gutdia union of the upazila and works in a company. 

Next to the gate, another eight-month-old baby was seen waiting with her aunt in her lap. 

On the other hand, mother Soma Khatun is busy in the examination hall. She is a student of Chuknagar Model Women's College. She also got married in 2020. Her husband Mofizul is a resident of Kharnia union of the same upazila. 

Mim Khatun's mother said regarding marrying off her daughter before age: “I had two daughters of the same age and I arranged marriage for one of my daughters after the SSC exam. Moreover, seeing interest from the bridegroom's side, we did not delay.” 

The woman waiting with the eight-month-old baby on condition of anonymity said Soma Khatun, a student of Chuknagar Women's College, is her sister and she is attending HSC examination this year. As it is not possible to attend the exam with the baby, she is waiting with the baby. 

Acting Principal and Centre Secretary of Chuknagar Degree College Monirul Islam Brown said underage marriage is very sad incident. 

“After the examination started, I came to know that two students have been attending the exam keeping their babies outside of the centre. For humanitarian reasons, I will arrange a room from the next day so that the children can sleep and their relative can sit with the children,” said Monirul Islam. 

The duty teachers said that the educational institutions were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. They got married at that time. Many of them have children on their laps. Parents and match makers are especially responsible for this.

Dumuria Upazila Secondary Education Officer Debashish Kumar Biswas said: “We always try to raise awareness among parents. It is an ongoing process. We will be more aware so that such incidents do not happen again.” 

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