FROM A CORRESPONDENT
MANGALDAI, April 1: The open session of the two-day district-level women's convention, organised by the Assam Mahila Samata Society (AMSS), district implementation unit, Darrang, here recently, expressed concern over the rising cases of child marriage in the district.
District Social Welfare Officer Manjari Borthakur, who is also the desigted District Protection Officer on Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Darrang, while speaking as a guest, pointed out that cases of child marriage in recent times have come to light in the area, mostly domited by the indigenous Assamese community. She said, "When I visit such areas to perform duties relating to the electoral rolls, I meet young married girls with a baby or two with them, who have just attained 18 years of age. Very often I talk to them and try to know why they got married at such a tender age, even though it does not come under my official responsibility." She also spoke on the prevailing gender discrimition in the present-day modern society which, she said, was a major hindrance to the all-round development of the society.
Citing a number of examples, she said that in the eight-member magement committee for each anganwadi centre, the participation of a minimum of four women members is mandatory. "But you will not find a single anganwadi centre where participation of women members is more than four," she added. Borthakur lamented that "even the process of formation of the new central executive body of the AASU, which we regard as one of our most respected organisations, is not free of gender discrimition."
Speaking on gender discrimition as the invited guest, Dhanjit Rajbongshi, District Programme Officer, Sarba Siksha Abhijan, Darrang, said that gender discrimition begins at home at the early stage of a girl child's life, which filly prevents her from taking any decision on her own in her later life.
The session, anchored by Rashmi Rekha Sarma, resource person of the AMSS, Darrang unit, was also addressed by Debendra Kumar Kalita, lecturer, District Teachers' Training Institute, Darrang, who dwelt at length on the importance of education among women for their own future as well as the future of their children.
Talks on the issues of women's empowerment and free legal aid were delivered by Jebunnisa Choudhury, District Programme Coorditor, AMSS, Darrang, and jourlist Mayukh Goswami respectively.
The two-day convention, which ended on Friday, was attended by about 100 representatives of different block development level women's clubs under the AMSS. It also included discussions on the future activities of the organisation, community prayers, yoga, cultural function, film shows relating to women issues, etc.