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294 victims of violence get new lease of life in Rangpur

RANGPUR, July 17, 2017 (BSS) - A total of 294 women who were victims of various types of violence have got a new lease of life with support from a leading development organisation.

"All of the young women were victims of different misdeeds including child marriage, dowry, torture, abuse, trafficking and physical and mental violence,' said Senior Programme Manager Mezbahun Nahar of Women's Rights Unit of RDRS Bangladesh.

Since 2009, the NGO rehabilitated the victims providing them with shelters and training at its rehabilitation center -Alokita Bhuban. They were also given treatment, legal aid, counsel, education and vocational training on various trades and inputs for income generation.

"After providing shelters, we went through case study of every victim girl and identified illiteracy, extreme poverty, early marriage and lack of awareness among parents as main reasons behind their tragic stories," Nahar said.

"I was unable stay my in-laws house even for a week as my mother-in-law and husband tortured me for dowry and treated me as a mad only because I came from a poor family," said Golapi Akhter Mini, 22, who was rehabilitated of Rangpur Sadar area.

Golapi is now working as an operator at handicrafts production and marketing centre 'Karupnno' for a monthly salary of Taka 12,000. She also won 'Joyeeta' award at the upazila, district and divisional levels for her works. Mayabi Khatun, 20, of Taraganj upazila in Rangpur said she was married at 14 and became a victim of domestic violence when her husband started torturing her after failing to get a bicycle as dowry.

"I was driven away from my husband's house and came to "Alokita Bhuban" in 2014 for got training on beauty parlour, sewing, embroidery and other vocational trades,' she said.

After returning home, Mayabi started providing training on sewing to other women and earned Taka 16,000 and took loan from an NGO to purchase a bull. She also started her education from class eight.

"I am now earning well from sewing, embroidering and farming crops on land taken on lease while continuing my studies", said Mayabi who also won upazila level 'Joyeeta' award after passing HSC examinations last year.

Rehabilitated Bijlee Khatun, 19, of Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat was married after passing SSC examinations. She came to "Alokita Bhuban" in 2015 when her husband left her after failing to realise more dowry.

Bijlee opened a training centre on sewing after getting training on various trades at "Alokita Bhuban". She also started her study to become a teacher.

Nazia, Khadija, Laboni and Armina of different districts also shared the similar story.

Director (Development Programme) of RDRS Bangladesh Monjusree Saha said they rehabilitated the victim girls though the task was not so easy.