‘333’ emerges as tool of checking child marriage

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NATORE, Sept 30, 2019 (BSS) – The helpline no ‘333’ has emerged as a lifesaver tool for adolescent girls in the district as nearly 300 girls had been able to avoid child marriage in the last one year by calling the number introduced to provide information of receiving public services.

Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy launched the helpline ‘333’ call center being run by the a2i programme on April 12 in 2018 to reach services and provide quick feedback to people after receiving complaints against social problems.

Like Natore district, many other girls aged below 18 from other districts also sought help of the local administration to foil forced marriage settled by their family members. According to the government data more than 2500 girls across the country check their early marriage through calling the number-333.

The call center was introduced as part of the government’s initiatives to widen the right to information of the citizens.

Anyone can dial helpline 333 from anywhere and receive information about government offices and officers, tourist attractions, 64 districts and redressal of different social problems.

The call center was mostly used for lodging complaint against eve teasing, getting information about e-TIN, safe migration, weather and rail services.

Liza Khatum, a 14-year-old 8th grader and daughter of Jahangir Alam of Baroghoria village under Kafuria union of Natore Sadar Upazila sought help of the local administration by dialing 333 to foil her marriage scheduled to be held within 2 days.

Her message was conveyed right away from the call centre to the district magistrate, assistant commissioner (ICT) of district administration, and UNO of the Sadar upazila through text message.

After receiving the message, Natore Sadr Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Jesmin Akhtar Banu went to the spot and held meeting with members of both the families. She described them about negative impact of child marriage as well as the state law against the child marriage.

Banu said they take administrative action whenever get the message from the call center.” This call center has actually come as a blessing for adolescent girls in the district. It helped many under aged girls to prevent settled marriage,” she added.

Banu said it is easy to take charge against those who found guilty as the Child Marriage Prevention Act 2017 is under mobile court,

Noldanga upazila administrations of the district took the lead as it has bale to check highest numbers of child marriage in the district.

Noldanga UNO Sakib-Al Rabbi said they prevented marriage of a 15-year old girl name Meem daughter of Anisur Rahman from Kazipur village last month. “after that that girl is again going to school” he said in a satisfactory voice.

Terming the helpline ‘333’ as an example of building digital Bangladesh, Natore district deputy commission M Shah Riaz said the country’s mass media could play the most vital role in popularizing the helpline call center of ‘333’ at grassroots level for reaching government services and benefits of digitisation to rural population.

Apart from Bangladesh, the expatriate Bangladeshis can dial at ‘09666789333’ for receiving same services as well as lodging complains to get quick remedies.

According to Statistics Bureau, the child marriage rate was 64 percent in 2016 which is now reduced to 47 percent.

The present government set a target to reduce child marriage of under 15-year-old to zero percent while decrease it to one third in the case of 15 to 18 years old girls.

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