Staff Correspondent: One of the major obstacles in socioeconomic development and human rights in Bangladesh is child marriage. The Government of Bangladesh and USAID’s Ujjiban SBCC project, implemented by Johns Hopkins Centre for Communication Programs, have been working together in Actions to Prevent Child Marriage in Bangladesh campaign.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures and the resulting loss of educational opportunities have increased the vulnerability of adolescent girls to child marriage at a magnanimous rate. Child brides discontinue secondary education, suffer from serious health consequences including death duo to early pregnancy, are exploited, fall victim to abandonment and domestic violence from spouses and in-laws.
Being the first superstore of the country, Agora has always maintained excellence in quality of products and operational standards ensuring a better market for the country. Being an ethical business source, it believes in decentralizing and wanting the healthiest produce to reach its customers across the country.
Thus, USAID’s Ujjiban SBCC project is working in partnership with Agora to collect one million (1 million) signatures at Agora’s Japan-Garden City outlet in Dhaka on Thursday, February 17, 2022 to further strengthen the campaign against child marriage.
The aim of this drive is to raise public awareness and empathy and educate the nation on entrenched gender inequality to create safe and healthy environment for girls and boys in their households, communities, and the country by condemning child marriage and understanding the dreadful consequences that follow.
The anti-child marriage campaign was inaugurated by cutting a cake at the event. Afterwards, the guests formally inaugurated the signature collection activities by signing the book.
Agora Director Muallem A. Choudhury, Agora’s Head of Commercial & Marketing Khandaker Nur-E-Burhan, Head of Planning and Internal Audit Khaledur Rasul, Head of H. R. Aleya Parveen, Dr. Faisal Mahmud, USAID’s Ujjiban SBCC project’s Outreach Manager A.F.M. Iqbal, artist Sheuti Fariha Shams spoke on the occasion among others.
On behalf of Agora, senior officials said that child marriage is a big problem in Bangladesh. They are very pleased to work with USAID’s Ujjiban project run by Johns Hopkins University to address this issue. According to them, Agoro serves more than three lakh customers every month. As a result, it will be possible to easily convey anti-child marriage message to a large population.
They say such a big social problem cannot be solved by the government alone. More non-governmental organizations should come forward in this awareness program.
A.F.M. Iqbal, Outreach Manager, Ujjiban Project, said that Agora has come forward very spontaneously in this awareness program. He thanked and expressed gratitude to Agora.
The speakers said that if one million signatures are collected in this anti-child marriage awareness campaign, it will be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office.
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