Odisha Students pledged for NO to Child Marriage

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Report by Bhaskr Pradhan; Sonepur: Today in Subarnpur as much as 11985 students from 39 junior colleges pledged for NO to child marriage. In a meeting organised for this purpose at Biju Pattnaik Womens’ College, the Chief Guest of the occasion Sri Dasarathi Satapathy, IAS, Collector and District Magistrate as well as the nodal officer for Prohibition of Child marriage Act told that Child Marriage is a hurdles in the progress of the society. It hampers all the dimensions of the child rights. However youth can work as change catalyst and can change the scenario. He declared that 39 junior colleges are organising similar kind of meeting at the same time involving around 11985 students for the cause of combating child marriage with the support of Child Development Protection Unit and Beti Zindabad of ActionAid. Ghasiram Panda , programme manager of ActionAid told that the National family Health Survey – 4 revelled that 22.2 percent girls are getting married below the age of 18 and only 26% are completing 10 year of schooling in Subarnapur. This high prevalence of child marriage also causing high IMR and MMR. Though child marriages are so prevalent, cases are not being reported as the child marriage prohibition officers who are the CDPOs not aware of their role. The efforts taken by the district is unique of its kind and nowhere in the state such has a grand mobilisation taken place to combat child marriage. Youth power will definitely be able to brought change he added. Among other Dr Prafulla Ratha, DLC, Bhujanga Rao, DIPRO, Manoj Manjari Pahi, DSWO, Chaturbhuja Das, DCPO and principal of the College addressed the gathering. At the end the students took pledge on no to marry before the age and will take active participation in prohibition of child marriage.

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