(Dowry system: Dowry system which is usually practiced in marriage process, especially in Terai region by Madhesi, Muslim, Tharu and other community. In this process or agreement, the family of the bride have to pay cash, gold, vehicles, and other expensive furniture and entertainment items to bridegroom family as per their demand. If the demand is fulfilled then marriage is success but if not fulfilled about 90% relationship is cancelled, many daughters and daughter in law had been in serious trouble and sometimes even threatened to life because of the dowry system. So birth of daughter in this community had been taken as curse and burden, daughter are killed in their mother womb before birth and after birth too rare survives.)
Jandibiya Khatun is from Sakhauwa Dhamaura VDC of Rautahat district and belongs to Muslim community & lives in Muslim tol of this VDC. There are nine member in his family including herself, her husband, her 3 sons, 3 daughter and mother in law. They are from poor economic background and they do not have any property beside their small house and having problem to fulfill the basic needs of the family. Their main source of income for the family is labor in brickyard.
About 30 women including her from Muslim community is running one SHG named as Chand Sitara SHG from last one year. Before the formation of this SHG, they had operated 6 month REFLECT center by the help of SEEDS programme of SAHAS Nepal. In reflect they discussed on different social issues, problem, difficulties mainly occur in our society like Dowry system, Child marriage, Women injustice, poverty, sanitation, toilet, saving, income generating activities, quality education etc. From discussion in REFLECT, they got different kind of knowledge & information, positive and negative
effects of such issues on society. So they became determined to minimize such social ill practices which are prevalent in the society. They decided to always work in the process of development and welfare of the society.
Her husband had fixed her elder daughter marriage in her early age but she did not agreed for her marriage. She denied but her husband did not listen her voice. So she put her feeling towards her SHG member and they help her to convince her husband to stop the marriage. Then she asked for some skill training like tailoring(sewing and cutting) for her daughter and others daughter of that SHG. As per their need their daughter got 3 month tailoring training and sewing machine, interlock machine through SEEDS programme of SAHAS Nepal.
After her daughter was skilled in tailoring she become able to earn money by herself and only after fixed their daughter Asmun khatun marriage with Sadam mansuri of Katahariya VDC in the agreement of giving NRs. 50000 cash as dowry amount. Since they didn’t had any other option than taking out loan, her husband took loan of NRs. 50,000 from others in high interest. Then the news about their daughter marriage and the dowry was wide spread in the society. Every member of SHGs, and other intelligent and big personality of their society spoke against the dowry system, and took them to stage where they need to return the money from the bridegroom party, bride groom party also listen to their and others voice and returned NRs. 50,000 cash to them. They become so happy for this, and after that four daughter marriage was done without giving dowry. Jandibiya also determined that she will do her son marriage without taking dowry.
Muslim leader and joint Muslim struggle alliance coordinator Haji Likurulla said that recent practice of returning dowry has picked up after the committee started spreading awareness by reaching out to the village, the campaign is sending positive message to the Muslim community. In this way this kind of social evil is now discouraging in our society, we are very happy for this.
Jandibiya also stated that, "In place of giving dowry to our daughter, we should provide quality education and different kinds of skill development training and focused on their carrier as well as bright future." Thus for all this, Janadibiya gives credit to her SHG, SHG Members, big personality from her society and SAHAS Nepal for her success and happy life.