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Communal clash victim�s family living in abject poverty

By MANASH PRATIM DUTTA

BARPETA, Dec 17 - At a time when the Centre and the State government have both been trumpeting their initiatives for women empowerment, a large number of women in rural Assam, despite facing immense hardships, are yet to avail benefits of any government scheme. Jurina Begum, a 24-year-old widow and mother of a 10-month-old girl, from Borbilla village in Barpeta district, is one such example. Jurina lost her husband Rupchan Dewan on February 29 this year during a communal clash that took place in Shillong following the anti-CAA protests across the region.

Rupchan was a petty vegetable vendor in Bara Bazar area of Shillong. As per the complaint lodged by his family with the police in Shillong, some miscreants attacked Rupchan around 10.45 am on February 29. He received serious injuries on the left side of his chest and he died on the spot. Jurina�s husband was the sole bread earner of the four-member family. Her father-in-law is a paralysis patient and her mother-in-law a housewife.

�I was married off at the age of 14 years when I was in Class IX. My husband�s income was enough to cover all the expenditure of the family and we were living a happy life. In the first part of the year, we were also blessed with a girl child as a gift of Allah. But, the incident changed everything in our life. My husband didn�t even get the chance to have a glimpse of our daughter,� Jurina said.

She said her husband was not involved with any anti-CAA or pro-CAA movement. He was a politically neutral person and during the time of the incident, he was trying to somehow make a visit to his native home.

The family is now facing extreme hardship. Jurina said that her family, till date, has only got a ration card in the name of government assistance. As they have no source of income, they are completely dependent on support from neighbours and relatives to procure the rations.

�Without such help from our relatives and neighbours, it will not be possible for us to survive. No government official, politician and student leader has ever stepped in our house after my husband�s death. I approached our local MLA recently and appealed to him for some help, but did not get a proper response,� she rued.

Although the family is living below the poverty line, till date they have neither got a house from the government nor any other financial help. Jurina did not even get any financial aid under the Arunodoi scheme of the State government. She said she is not being able to provide nutritional food to her baby due to her poverty.

Hasim Ali, a relative of the family, said Jurina needs a source of income to somehow end the misery as the family remains deprived of all kinds of government help. �I�m trying my best to manage a job for her. For the purpose, I met the Deputy Commissioner of Barpeta, too; but did not get a good response.�

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Communal clash victim�s family living in abject poverty

BARPETA, Dec 17 - At a time when the Centre and the State government have both been trumpeting their initiatives for women empowerment, a large number of women in rural Assam, despite facing immense hardships, are yet to avail benefits of any government scheme. Jurina Begum, a 24-year-old widow and mother of a 10-month-old girl, from Borbilla village in Barpeta district, is one such example. Jurina lost her husband Rupchan Dewan on February 29 this year during a communal clash that took place in Shillong following the anti-CAA protests across the region.

Rupchan was a petty vegetable vendor in Bara Bazar area of Shillong. As per the complaint lodged by his family with the police in Shillong, some miscreants attacked Rupchan around 10.45 am on February 29. He received serious injuries on the left side of his chest and he died on the spot. Jurina�s husband was the sole bread earner of the four-member family. Her father-in-law is a paralysis patient and her mother-in-law a housewife.

�I was married off at the age of 14 years when I was in Class IX. My husband�s income was enough to cover all the expenditure of the family and we were living a happy life. In the first part of the year, we were also blessed with a girl child as a gift of Allah. But, the incident changed everything in our life. My husband didn�t even get the chance to have a glimpse of our daughter,� Jurina said.

She said her husband was not involved with any anti-CAA or pro-CAA movement. He was a politically neutral person and during the time of the incident, he was trying to somehow make a visit to his native home.

The family is now facing extreme hardship. Jurina said that her family, till date, has only got a ration card in the name of government assistance. As they have no source of income, they are completely dependent on support from neighbours and relatives to procure the rations.

�Without such help from our relatives and neighbours, it will not be possible for us to survive. No government official, politician and student leader has ever stepped in our house after my husband�s death. I approached our local MLA recently and appealed to him for some help, but did not get a proper response,� she rued.

Although the family is living below the poverty line, till date they have neither got a house from the government nor any other financial help. Jurina did not even get any financial aid under the Arunodoi scheme of the State government. She said she is not being able to provide nutritional food to her baby due to her poverty.

Hasim Ali, a relative of the family, said Jurina needs a source of income to somehow end the misery as the family remains deprived of all kinds of government help. �I�m trying my best to manage a job for her. For the purpose, I met the Deputy Commissioner of Barpeta, too; but did not get a good response.�