Odisha: School Students of Rayagada District took Pledge saying No To Child Marriage

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Rayagada: A Mass pledge campaign throughout the district was undertaken by District Administration, Rayagada and District Child Protection Unit, District Welfare Department, and School and Mass Education Department of Rayagada district with support from all Higher Secondary Schools, UNICEF and Action Aid India. Students of all Higher Secondary Schools in Rayagada district took a mass pledge saying No to Child Marriage.
As per the NFHS-4 survey data Rayagada district stands on 5th position in terms of Female Child Marriage and 1st Position in case of Male child Marriage in the State. Child marriage leads to Infant Mortality, Maternal Mortality, Malnutrition and economically weak. To address the child marriage issues in district the State government, Rayagada District Administration, Action Aid and UNICEF jointly focused on different aspects like every children will be in the school and quality learning, health, malnutrition, child protection mechanisms and skill development mechanisms and a District Work Plan made for the District on 20th August 2019 with consultation of all line departments.
A District Task force formed under the Chairmanship of Collector and District Magistrate, Rayagada Sri Pramod Ku Behera to monitor the work plans. As a part of the District Work Plan District Administration organised Mass Pledging by Higher Secondary school students at their own schools to create mass awareness among the community. Through this mass pledging it is focused not to organise any marriage ceremony while the girl is below 18 years and boy is below 21 years age. When a marriage is going to be happened they should convince the parents not to organise the marriage ceremony and they should inform Childline, Police, Angan Wadi Worker, ICDS Supervisors and CDPOs-cum- child Marriage Prohibition Officers and District Child Protection Officer.
The Mass Pledging was done by the higher secondary school administrations while Sri Ramesh Ch Nayak, District Child Protection Officer, Rayagada coordinated the program.
Similarly a mass pledging and human chain was organised by the District administration on 2nd October 2019 covering all schools and all SHG members to spread massage No to Child Marriage and 3.5 Lakh people were participated in that process.

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