PTM platform in Odisha schools to build awareness on child marriage among teachers, parents

It has urged the SC and ST Development department to include 'prevention of child marriages' agenda in parent-teacher meetings in all  its schools henceforth.

Published: 12th July 2022 08:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2022 12:25 PM   |  A+A-

child marriage

Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Furthering its efforts towards preventing child marriages in the State, the Women and Child Development (WCD) department has decided to take up the issue with parents of tribal and SC students.

It has urged the SC and ST Development department to include 'prevention of child marriages' agenda in parent-teacher meetings in all its schools henceforth. "Such meetings are an effective platform in  mobilising communities and sensitising teachers, students and their  families in ill-effects of early marriages," said a Women and Child Development letter to the tribal welfare department on Monday.

The Odisha government has decided to reduce child marriages for girls  from 21.3 pc to 10 pc and from 11 pc to 6 pc for boys by 2024 and  completely end early marriages in Odisha by 2030. And for the purpose,  all the district administrations are initiating district-specific measures laid down in the State Strategic Action Plan (2019-2024) which was rolled  out in October 2019.

The WCD department’s decision to reach out to tribal and SC  community parents comes in the wake of districts dominated by tribal  and SC population reporting high incidence of minor marriages. According to the National Family Health Survey-5, 12 districts in Odisha  still have a higher percentage of child marriages in comparison to the  national average of 23.3 per cent.

They are Nabarangpur 39.4 per cent, Nayagarh 35.7, Koraput 35.5, Malkangiri 32.4, Rayagada 33.2, Mayurbhanj 31.3,  Keonjhar 29, Gajapati 28.1, Balasore 26.4, Boudh 25.3, Angul 25 and  Dhenkanal 23.7.

"Since children of these communities are still victims of early marriage, we have decided to approach their parents through the SC and ST Development department. We have given the department an agenda of  key points on preventing child marriages and provisions of Prohibition  of Child Marriage Act, 2006 which will be discussed at the parent  teacher meetings," said a higher official of WCD department.


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