Despite poverty and hardship Mahima Chakma saved up towards sending the eldest of her five daughters, Shupriya Chakma to college in Rangamati (district headquarter) in the hope that Shupriya would have a better future. Shupriya was the first from her family and from Pettachori village to pursue college Shupriya had to cross ten hills on foot to reach
Rupbanbazar on the river bank from her village to hire a boat that would take her to the nearest landing station at Shubholongto avail a launch service. The entire journey took her several hours to arrive at Rangamati. In the beginning she felt lost in the mixed cultural environment of the college with students from both the Bengali and the Adibashi origins. She soon befriended a senior student from her own community called Shubroto Chakma who she later fell in love with. The relationship turned sour when Shubroto refused to marry Shupriya on announcement of her pregnancy.
Shupriya had no choice but to return home to Pettachori with shattered dreams. Devastated, her family ran to a village Headmen who sided with Shubroto’s family as his father was more influential in the community. With the help of a distant relative Shupriya’s family approached Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services trust (BLAST) a CLS grantee based in Rangamati for help. BLAST facilitated a series of meetings between the Headmen and Karbari of the villages of the two families. As a result Shupriya and Shubroto got married under the customary law of Rangamati and Shupriya went to Shubroto’s house to live a life of happiness.
Unfortunately, Shupriya was sent back to her parents by her in laws with a long list of dowry. It was impossible for Shupriya’s father, a poor farmer to arrange for dowry after maintaining a large family. He asked the Karbaris to influence Shubroto’s family to take Shupriya back with her child but to no avail. With a broken heart,Shupriya gave up her child for adoption upon birth.
As a last resort, Shupriya went back to BLAST for assistance and filed a case free of cost against Shubroto at Rangamati Judge Court under section four of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1980. Her case is still pending.