Odisha News Insight

VHAI organises Workshop on Child Marriage in Bhubaneswar @ July 27

VHAI-BhubaneswarBhubaneswar, 27 July: Child marriage is a major social concern and a violation of children’s rights, whether it happens to a girl or a boy as it denies the basic rights to health, nutrition, education, freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation and deprives the child of his/her childhood.

In India, around 43% of women aged 20 to 24 years are married before the age of 18 years, whereas this was 38% for Ganjam district (Annual Health Survey-2012). There has been a decline in the incidence of child marriage in nearly all states, but the pace of change remains slow.

Voluntary Heath Association of India (VHAI) organsied a state level joint advocacy workshop on “Prevention of Child Marriage” at IMA House, Bhubaneswar in association with Restless Development.

The workshop also emphasized on sharing of best practices, success stories, recommendations and provisions/modalities/action on Child Marriage under concerned Departments along with cross learning among the participated point persons from Health and W&CD Department and community mobilisers from the field and other stakeholders.

Child marriage is a common practice throughout the country but it affects girls in rural areas more than in urban regions. Girls from poorer households and scheduled castes and tribes in comparison to girls with less education tend to marry at a younger age..

Dr. Nirmala Kumari Dei, Director, Family Welfare from Health & Family Welfare Department and Dr. Prasant Kumar Saboth, Senior Prgramme Officer, UNDP-NIPI (NHM, Odisha) ventilated their valuable inputs and sensitization to participants on different components and associated social, cultural, behavioral, financial and educational factors resulting “Child Marriage” in the State. Dr. Dei strongly emphasized on promoting education of Girls and active involvement of community group, institutions, youths, adolescents and teachers in curbing the issue.

Dr. Baishnaba Charan Rath, State Training Consultant, NOP, W&CD Department, Mr. Ashok Nayak, State Consultant, UNFPA, Dr. Dillip Samal, Executive Director, OVHA, Dr. Bishwaranjan Purohit, State Programme Coordinatior, VHAI-Odisha and Ms. Smrutisathi Sahoo, Programme Coordinator, Restless Development also participated in this programmeshared their experience and concern on the issue.

VHAI-BBSRVoluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) and Restless Development are now working on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) concerns of adolescents and youths by creating adolescent friendly enabling environment in the community through front line health care providers, community groups/mobilisers, youths/adolescents/volunteers and through school and non-school going adolescents.

The “Unite against Child Marriage” (UaCM) programme supported by SIMAV is operational in Ganjam and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha state to “Prevent Child Marriage”. The programme is implemented through Voluntary Heath Association of India (VHAI) in four blocks of the Ganjam district namely Kholikote, Ganjam, Chatrapur and Beguniapada. The Restless Development under UaCM is implementing such programme in Jagasinghpur, Balikuda, Biridi, Raghunathpur and Kujanga blocks of Jagatsinghpur district; and in Kholikote, Ganjam, Chatrapur, Beguniapadaand Rangeilunda blocks of Ganjam district.

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