Rubina Aktar, Sadar Thana, Comilla
Rubina had to suffer a great deal from her husband’s tongue and beatings. He would accuse her of mismanaging the housekeeping. She was quite illiterate. Her husband had been to school but had never tried to write, or read any book, since leaving when he was 11. He had a son but didn’t send him to school as he felt that he himself had never reaped any benefit from school. The boy was a worry to his mother as he was very unruly - like his father. They had a daughter called Anna, and Rubina felt very protective towards her.
But things have changed. Rubina’s husband went away to work for a period of several months and Rubina took the opportunity with other women to join a Nijera Shikhi self-education class. She wrote a letter to her husband and after a month she received a reply. It had been written on his behalf by someone else, but she was still very proud of it. The people she told about it were envious and have joined a literacy class themselves.
Rubina finds she is now a much better mother to Anna, and Anna is more alert and lively. Rubina reads any paper she can lay her hands on - there is not much to read in the village, but Nijera Shikhi has just provided a mini-library for the use of the first 80 successful new literates, so there's a lot more to read now. Rubina now knows how to avoid common diseases and cure simple ailments. She keeps the surroundings of the house clean and tidy. She keeps an account of her spending and saves regularly. She has started a little shop and it is beginning to get bigger.
She wrote about this to her husband and told him she will be a better wife to him when he returns - and asked him to think about joining the men's literacy class when he comes home. She is looking looking forward to that because his reply was kind and hopeful. She believes she can convince him too that literacy will mean an end to their past unhappiness and poverty.