Divorce has increased due to strife in marriage, Children deprived of parental rights

Sumaiya Akhter. Only five years old. Sumaiya, a beautiful and cheerful child easily wins everyone’s heart. A year ago, her mother Achia Begum ran away with her estranged lover after talking to a doctor. Father Kashem Mia lives abroad. After several days of waiting, Sumaiya’s parents got divorced. Baby Sumaiya lives with her grandmother. Sumaiya is deprived of parental rights as her mother is gone and her father is abroad. After six months, Kashem Mia returned home from exile and got married again and brought his new wife ‘Achma Akhter’ home. Everyone teaches Sumaiya that her new mother has arrived in the house. From the next day Sumaiya started calling Achma as Ammu. This call is annoying for me. Because he just got married. Meanwhile, Achma was brought to look after Sumaiya, but she behaved well for a few days while her father was in the country. Sumaiya is now even more neglected as Kashem Mia goes abroad after two months. Because the grandmother is not taking care of the stepmother thinking that there is a ‘new wife’ in the house. In today’s society, no one looks after a stepchild as his own. Recently, a video of a child who was tortured by her stepmother ‘eating rice with just water’ has gone viral on social media. In this way hundreds of children across the country like Sumaiya of Chauddagram are being deprived of their parents’ rights. Most of the tokai and street children in different cities are children of divorced parents. This information has been found in the research on the rights of children of more than a hundred divorced parents in the last one year.

According to Islam, Buddhism and Hindu sources, Parents are the most important for a child. Similarly, children are the most dear to parents. Good children are one of the means of happiness and peace in this worldly life and liberation in the hereafter. Wealth is a means of saving life, and children are a means of saving offspring. It is the essential duty of parents to bring up their children properly. It is the duty of parents to make every possible effort for the safety, education, treatment, disease-free, healthy development of the child’s life, improvement and development of life. It is necessary to arrange all the necessary things including nutritious food, clean water for the child. But children are being deprived of their rights as divorce due to marital discord is on the rise.

According to the research, divorce i.e. divorce is increasing due to dowry, alienation, drug addiction, child marriage, polygamy, misguidance, polygamy and superstition in the society. Women are subjected to harassment and torture by husbands and their family members for dowry. There are no less instances of death as a dowry sacrifice in the society. There is no age or time for dowry demand or torture. Through divorce, women are seen to leave a family of 30 years. Besides, modern age boys and girls are absolutely impatient. They don’t want to run a family if there is a disagreement on a minor issue. Suddenly decided to divorce. They do not care about conscience, social and family values. Again, it is seen in many families, after marriage, many of the family members practice disrespect towards the couple. Some of the relatives or guardians want to control the couple’s family like themselves. This sometimes leads to bitterness, which can lead to divorce.

According to the news published in the media, Divorce petitions are read in the city corporation and union councils every day. According to ASK’s report, there is an average divorce in Dhaka every 40 minutes. Many are declaring separation after 90 days by hiding the notice without considering the rules and regulations. This news cannot be pleasant for the family-society as well as the people of the country. Husband or wife residing abroad; Divorce abroad is expensive so it can be seen that one is deceiving the other by secretly divorce by coming to the country. Many are giving ‘talaq’ illegally and irregularly in the Magistrate’s Court and even in the Notary Public’s office. Men and women are being cheated due to lack of digitization of marriage and divorce. Online marriage registration and divorce registration is the need of the hour. Which is good and beneficial for both men and women.

According to UNICEF and BBS 2023 data, 30.1 percent of children live and sleep in public or open spaces (such as roads, stations, terminals, fields or parks). In addition, 82.9 percent of children living on the streets are tortured and harassed by pedestrians. Research has revealed that most of the children of divorced parents live in the open with disenfranchisement. They grow up in idleness and neglect. As a result, the number of street children is not decreasing. UNICEF has been working since 1952 on social policy, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, education extension and social policy for children in Bangladesh. As a result, parents are becoming aware of the rights of children.

Recently, Professor Kazi Sheikh Farid of Bangladesh Agricultural University has researched the discovery and resolution of various family problems in Chouddagram of Comilla district. He said, ‘to make the family happy, some things need to be followed by both the husband and the wife. When marital discord arises, first of all, two people should identify the cause and try to solve it together. Strengthening the foundation of trust through individual awareness-tolerance and compromise. Both have to make concessions to build a nest of peace, happiness and love. It is important to have tolerance, trust and respect for each other. As the family survives, their children will be well. Children will grow up with full rights.
He also said, “Government should take strict action against men and women who divorce husband and wife on the slightest excuse.” After divorce, men and women can marry each other and live happily. But their children will grow up in care? If children deprived of parental rights grow up in neglect, the next generation will be dangerous and superstitious. As a result, the family, society and the government must be vocal in realizing the rights of all children.

Chauddagram Upazila Vice Chairman Rasheda Akhtar said, ‘Husband and wife should be more aware to ensure the rights of children in every family. Parents should fully implement all the rights of the child, including housing, education, medical care and hygiene. Keeping in mind the rights of the child, divorce of the husband and wife should be avoided on the basis of a small argument. For this reason, besides the government, NGOs and social organizations should make the parents more aware through awareness programs.

Writer: Md. Emdad Ullah, journalist-news agency PBA.

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