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- The Story Of Sher Shahbadi Muslim Women Forced To Remain Virgin In This Area Of Bihar
Supaul, BiharOne hour agoAuthor: Rahul Kotial
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- In Kochgama Panchayat itself a few years ago the number of unmarried women above the age of 35 years was more than 140, that is, this number will be crossed in their total population living in India and Nepal.
- Most of these women suffer from malnutrition and anemia because they hardly get two meals a day; those who do charity in Ramadan feed their stomachs.
Mastara Bano will turn 50 next year. But even today, she tells her age is only 32 years. With the hope that perhaps by doing this, a marriage relationship will come for them. Mastara, who lives alone for 50 spring, fears that if she reveals her real age, her last hope of marriage will also be broken. Will go.
Mastara, standing at the mouth of middle age, is likewise keeping alive his dream of entering into married life. The pain of hundreds of women in the panchayat where Mastara lives is also similar to them. It is the destiny of these women to remain virgins all their lives. If these women had taken this decision of their own accord, then there was nothing wrong in it.
However, the traditions of Sher Shahbadi Muslim community are such that almost two out of every ten girls remain unmarried. Kochgama Panchayat is barely ten kilometers from Nepal border in Supaul district of Bihar. Most of the Muslims in this area dominated by Muslims are from Sher Shahbadi community. Along with this panchayat, people of Sher Shahbadi community live in many other districts of Seemanchal and also in Nepal.
60-year-old Jaibun Nisha with his brother Zia-ul-Haq.
Mahbub Alam, who hails from Kochgama, says, ‘The girl’s family in the Sher Shahbadi community neither seeks a relationship for their daughter nor can ask anyone to do so. If they do this then it is understood that there is definitely a flaw in the girl who is looking for a boy for herself. Then the girl’s marriage becomes even more difficult. ‘
He adds, “The girl can only wait for the relationship to come.” Therefore, the girls for whom the relationship comes, they get married, but those who do not come, they only keep waiting for the relationship. ‘
Local social activist Abu Hilal explains, ‘This problem of women being unmarried has been strengthened ever since people started getting caught in dowry greed. Now the marriage of those girls who are either beautiful or who have money to give dowry is easy.
Girls who are of low stature, are not fair complexion or are not good nan-maps are not married. Sometimes it happens that out of two-three sisters, boys prefer the younger sister. In such a situation, the younger girl gets married first and then the elder girl’s marriage gets increasingly difficult.
There is no recent data on the total number of unmarried women in the Sher Shahbadi community. But, according to the recently published book ‘Ruktapur’ by senior journalist Pushyamitra, only in Kochgama Panchayat a few years ago, the number of unmarried women above the age of 35 years was more than 140.
When this figure is so large in a single panchayat, this number will definitely be in the thousands in this total population living in many districts of India and Nepal.
Shah Jamal alias Lal Mukhiya, who was a two-time chief of the Kochgama Panchayat and contested the assembly elections from the Congress in 2010, says that a few years ago a meeting was called by the entire community to resolve the problem. About seven years ago, the people of Sher Shahbadi community living in different areas of India and Nepal had joined this meeting and decided that now the girls should also start finding a relationship or start taking the initiative.
Lal Mukhiya says, ‘This initiative has a lot of impact. Now the number of girls who are not getting married is less. Now even girls themselves like boys and they get married. The other people of the village do not agree with this matter of the Red Chief. Abu Hilal says, ‘Even after that meeting nothing has changed. People still do not go with the girl’s relationship.
It is also clear when walking in the Kochgama Panchayat that it is very difficult to believe what the Red Chief is saying by the girls to find the boy on their own. Even today, there are hundred guards for the girls of the community on their way out of the house, they are not even allowed to work or work and they can study only in madrasas.
Shaheena Parveen, who works for The Hunger Project, has raised the voice of these women many times. Shaheena Parveen believes that one of the steps that should be taken to overcome this problem is to make girls educated and self-reliant. She says, “If these girls get out, study well and start doing jobs, then they will definitely get out of this problem too.”
But this is very difficult to happen in a Muslim community living in rural areas. All clerics there advocate to keep girls confined to madrasas and people obey them only. Rather, the teachings of the cleric have the strongest effect on the girls as well.
The problem of local social activist Abu Hilal being unmarried has been strengthened ever since people started getting caught in the greed for dowry.
Girls who remain unmarried also cannot claim their parental property. If educated girls are unable to do it, then it is meaningless to expect this from uneducated village girls. In such a situation, those girls are always considered a burden on their brother and it is believed that they are taking pity on the brother and brother is doing them a favor.
When elections are going to be held in Bihar, the issue of these thousands of unmarried women of Sher Shahbadi community is not a matter of discussion for anyone. There is no discussion on this issue even in the assembly area where there is a majority of this community.
Shaheena Parveen says, “Most of these women suffer from malnutrition and anemia because they hardly get two meals a day.” The people who do charity in Ramadan fill their stomach.
At the policy level, nothing has been done for them till date. These women are not even entitled to the pension that the widow women get, whereas if seen, their entire life goes on living alone and helpless like widow women.
These unmarried women do not blame anyone other than their luck for their situation. But, she wants the government so much that when there is talk of making the whole country self-reliant and the slogan of ‘Self-reliant India’ is echoing from place to place, then the government should also take some initiative towards making them self-sufficient.