Odisha child marriage bid nipped in bud

first_imgA timely phone call to Childline on 1098 saved one more school-going girl from the menace of child marriage in Ganjam district of OdishaThe marriage of the Class X student from Sindurpur village under Chatrapur Block was scheduled for Monday, sources from Childline said. Concerned about her plight, the victim’s friends contacted Childline on March 4.According to Berhampur Childline director Sudhir Sabat, they received a call from the victim’s friends in the evening. The issue was taken up immediately with the police and administration. A team of the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), led by B. Bairagi Patra of the Ganjam Child Welfare Committee and police officers, reached the village on Sunday. They held discussions with the minor’s parents, relatives, the local sarpanch and senior community leaders to impress upon them the illegality of their decision. Following this, the girl’s parents and relatives decided not to get her married. Written undertaking The parents gave a written undertaking to that effect, also signed by their daughter, Mr. Sabat added.The telephone numbers for contacting both Childline and the government’s Students’ Helpline are displayed in every school. These numbers have helped prevent at least nine child marriages in Ganjam district since April 2016. Usually, the victims or their friends and relatives call up these helplines after failing to reason with the family. A call to Childline on February 26 by the victim’s friend helped prevent her marriage, scheduled for March 1 at Kanchudu village under Buguda police station.Another caseIn another instance, a Class IX student from Sabulia under Rambha police station tried to reason with her parents against her marriage, scheduled for February 1. When that failed, she called up the Students’ Helpline seeking help from the administration. Her marriage too was prevented.last_img

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