Women, children getting benefits of ADR in Natore

Swapna Khatun, not the real name, of village Amhati of Sadar upazila was married to grocery shop owner Abdur Rahman of Kalikapur area under Baraigram upazila in Natore, but had to return to his father’s home after ten-year of conjugal life with her nine-year-old daughter as Rahman divorced her.
Rahman had taken loans from different NGO’s and used to make Swapna to face the lenders when they come to realize money. Swapna was humiliated and even tortured physically by them on many occasions and when she finally refused, Rahman divorced her. After divorce, Swapna decided to knock the doors of district legal aid office and after hearing her sufferings, legal aid officials summoned Rahman immediately. Rahman appeared before District Legal Aid Office on the day fixed and District Legal Aid Officer and Senior Assistant Judge Md Motiur Rahman tried to convince him to take Swapna back and was successful ultimately. In the presence of local influential people, Rahman gave undertaking to return the loan in phases and not to torture Swapna anymore. The family finally reunited and three lives were spared because of the timely action of the District Legal Aid Office. Such cases of out of the courtroom arbitration or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is becoming very common in the district thanks to growing awareness among rural people and prompt actions of District Legal Aid Office. Singra farmer Mohammad Ali and his wife Monsura Begum’s marriage too was saved through ADR. Moriom of village Arurail under sadar upazila of Natore was married to Monir Hossain of village Biprohalsa and was blessed with a daughter. But one day hotheaded Monir divorced his wife marking a conjugal dispute. He kept their three-year-old daughter to him and threw his wife out of the home.