A Troubled Young Life

Arifa is the 18-year old daughter of Amzad Hossain a labourer in Dorshona  village, Rangpur. Her mother had died when she was young. When she was 13, her father married her off to Ripon Miah who  demanded a dowry  of 50,000Tk  after  the  wedding had taken place. But Amzad could not afford this amount of money  and Ripon and his family became angry. They began to beat Arifa, both physically and mentally, to force her to return to her father’s   house.But   Amzad had recently married again and his new wife refused to have Arifa in the house. When Arifa became pregnant she thought things would improve but instead they worsened. Instead of being  a  good  father  and  husband,  Ripon  refused  to  get  proper  treatment  for  his  baby daughter when she was contracted typhoid. That was when Arifa’s father reluctantly agreed she could return  home, expecting  Ripon to  give him  maintenance  for Arifa.  But  Ripon’s family refused to pay and, instead, they went to Amzad’s house and abducted the baby. Desperate, Arifa went to Dorshona Federation for help but they failed in their attempts to retrieve her daughter. With help from RDRS, Arifa filed a case against her husband and with a  court order was reunited with her baby. Because of poverty, things were still difficult at her  father’s house and her stepmother resented her. Eventually, Arifa went to live at the RDRS  Rehabilitation  Centre.  There,  she  received  counselling,  legal  advice,  literacy  and numeracy education and skills-training in tailoring and block-printing; she was also safe and happy for the first time in her young life. Now she is earning 100-150Tk per day and not dependent on anyone.

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