Nurul Haque is a resident of Basudebpur village of Chirirbandar Upazilla, Dinajpur. He is a sharecropper. He is also a part-time electrician. A father of four children, Nurul married in 1975. He was only 18 at that time and his wife was only 16. After 37 years of his conjugal life, when he looks back he could find two different Nurul. A short-tempered Nurul during the first 30 years of their marital life - who did not consider his wife an equal human-being and scold her often. He is now a new Nurul - during the last seven years who emerged from self-realization and has been a vocal and active person against domestic violence. How did it happen? How did he realize at such an age that he needed to change?.
Nurul has been a member of a micro-credit group of Palli Sri for last 12 years. Some meetings of this organization were held at his backyard. Eight years ago, he observed that the Apas of Palli Sri were counseling about violence against women. He went to become a bit irritated. He thought, âthey are talking nonsense. It is very natural that there will some arguments, quarrels and fighting between a husband and wife. Who cares?â He often made fun of them â âYou talk so much about violence against women; what about violence against men?â At that time Apas from Palli Sri invited him at their office. Listening to the discussions at those meetings, he realized his longstanding beliefs might be incorrect. He was not exactly sure who is a Change Maker but he enlisted himself â ââ¦.. I told them to enlist me, I will attend. Then they trained me, gave me the leaflets. I read them. I received several other trainings, listen to the arguments. I never heard these wordsâ.
Self-realization came to Nurul through the trainings, leaflets, discussions at the meetings. The domestic violence incidents, which were very normal to him, were no longer normal. He confessed â âthe forms of verbal and physical abuses which I came to know, we, the males, always perform thoseâ¦. I, myself did those many times. I was an angry person. I thought scolding women all the time was not right thing to do. They are not right because no one benefits from thoseâ¦ so if we can avoid them there will be peace in our domestic life.â This new realization brought changes to him. It is not right that now he does not feel anger to his wife and children. But he tries to control himselfâ¦ âI am a man you know. I have my tensions. If I say I do not become angry any more, I will by lying. But I try not to scold or shout, I perhaps go outside of my house. Then I come back when I feel better. Perhaps I watch television. â¦ but now my anger is lesserâ.
After becoming a Change Maker, he now advocates others about it, resists domestic violence. He strongly believes, now no one in his nearby area can beat his wife. They are conscious to the fact that if Nurul knows about these incidents he will resist. Besides his personal initiative and activities with regard to domestic violence, he is also involved in the organizing role of WE CAN alliances against domestic violence. At present, he is a vice-president of Chirirbandar Upazilla Committee. There are 25 members in that committee. During last few years, they have settled many cases of domestic violence in that area. In some cases, they had to file cases to the police. While working for this alliance they often face accusations that they only work against domestic violence to women but not for the men who also face similar problems.