*Note: Victim/Beneficiary’s names in all case studies have been replaced with pseudonyms.
Case Study (2010): Somiya Avoided Child Marriage to Pursue her Education
Somiya, a 13-year old girl from Chittagong, was a class eight student at a local High School. She lived with her father and stepmother, who were both pressuring her to marry a man named Badal. Somiya was opposed to the marriage, as she wanted to remain in school.
In September 2010, Somiya went to BLAST’s Chittagong unit office to ask for assistance. Upon receiving her complaint, BLAST’s Chittagong unit office arranged a mediation session. On 14 October 2010, Suraiya, Badal and her father attended the mediation session. After a fruitful discussion, it was decided that Suraiya’s father will not arrange her marriage until she is at least 18 years old; that he may only arrange such a marriage with her consent; and that both Suraiya’s father and Badal will be subject to legal penalties if they seek to arrange a marriage before Suraiya reaches the age of 18.
Suraiya is still in school, and living peacefully with her father, stepmother and other family members.
Case Study (2012): Restitution of Conjugal Rights through Mediation
(Reg. No: 9/425/2012)
Ajita married Jamil, a businessman, from Rajshahi in 1985 under Muslim law, which means their marriage was arranged without state registration. They had three daughters who were in college and university. In 2007, Jamil became very aggressive towards Ajita. In 2008 Jamil sent a divorce notice to Ajita and threw her out of their matrimonial home, along with his with their three daughters. Ajita and her family tried to negotiate with Jamil to settle the matter amicably but failed. During this period, Jamil did not provide his family with regular maintenance. In 2009 Ajita visited BLAST Rajshahi Unit Office and sought legal assistance.
BLAST’s representative then sent a letter to Jamil for mediation. On 30 Feb 2009, Jamil came for mediation and after a fruitful dialogue, the parties agreed that Jamil would pay a sum of Taka 3000 per month for his daughters’ maintenance. After further mediation sessions, Jamil agreed to pay an increased amount of Taka 5000 as maintenance. In 2012, both parties came to the Rajshahi office and stated that they planned to continue their conjugal life with each other. The Rajshahi office then called the Kazi (Marriage Registrar) who solemnized and registered their marriage on stipulating a dower amount of Tk. 2000 (two thousand taka only). Now Ajita and Jamil are living together with their three daughters. Their oldest daughter is currently studying of Rajshahi University.
Through BLAST’s mediation session, Ajita’s conjugal rights have been protected and she has been able live with her family with her three daughters.
Case Study (2013): Family Maintenance through Mediation
(Reg. No: 31/72/13)
Farah of Sonadanga, Khulna married Ahmed of Batiaghata, Khulna in 2008 under Muslim law, with the dower being fixed at Tk. 40,000 (forty thousand). Their conjugal life was peaceful and they were blessed with a son. However, all of a sudden Ahmed became very violent towards Farah. Very often he made demands of dowry and when she could not meet his demands, she had to face inhuman physical torture. Ahmed demanded Tk. 1,00,000 (one lac) as dowry but it was not possible for Farah to meet the demand. When she was unable to pay, Ahmed threw her out of his house and she took shelter at her parents’. After a few months she came to know about BLAST through another beneficiary of BLAST’s legal services. Thereafter, she visited BLAST’s Khulna Unit Office and explained that her husband used to subject her to violence for dowry.
On receiving the complaint, BLAST Khulna Unit Office sent a letter for mediation to Ahmed. On the first meeting date Ahmed did not come to BLAST for mediation. However, he came to BLAST after a second letter of mediation was sent to him. After a long discussion they decided that they will continue their conjugal life and that Ahmed would not subject his wife to further violence or make demands for dowry. Now she leads a happy life with her husband and their son.
With the help of mediation from BLAST, not only was domestic violence brought to a stop, but also further demand for illegal dowry was prevented as well.
Case Study (2014): Family Reunion through Intervention
(Reg. No: 19/96/14)
Among five brothers and sisters Kiva is the eldest one. Her father is sick. Due to the insolvency of their family, her mother sent her to a family at Feni as a maid in 2007. After one year she left Feni and got on a bus for Dhaka. On the way to Dhaka she met a woman of Faridpur district who took her in at Faridpur. She spent a few years living with the woman at her village and after the death of the woman the villagers sent Kiva to the Islamic Mission and Orphanage, where she received primary level Arabic general education. The authority of the Mission searched for her family according to Kiva’s description, but failed. So on 15 June 2014 the Secretary of the Mission visited the BLAST Faridpur Unit seeking help to find the family of Kiva.
Upon receiving the application for search of Kiva’s family, BLAST Faridpur Unit contacted BLAST Noakhali Unit and shared the information about Kiva. Then the BLAST Noakhali Unit visited the assumed area of Kiva’s family and shared this with the local UP Chairman and Member and they acknowledged the fact. Finally Kiva’s family was tracked down in July 2014. The mother, sister and a neighbor of Kiva came to BLAST Faridpur Unit and Kiva was reunited with her mother at the office of Deputy Commissioner, Faridpur. BLAST Faridpur Unit also provided them Tk 3,000.00 (Three thousand) for conveyance.
BLAST helped reunite the separated family and Kiva, her mother and sister were very pleased with BLAST for the intervention.