Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (file photo)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (file photo)

Odisha government plans to make state child marriage free by 2030

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 22:28 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Oct 24 (ANI): In a bid to end child marriage in Odisha, the Department of Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti has launched a state Strategic Action Plan (SAP) with the support of UNICEF & UNFPA.
New rules on the prevention of child marriage, along with an action plan were also released on Wednesday.
Articulating their concern regarding the relatively high prevalence of Child marriages in some districts, WCD and Mission Shakti Minister Tukuni Sahu said: "There is immediate need to take all possible steps by government, civil society, international bodies and communities and families should take proactive action to stop this social evil which is strongly embedded in social practices."
DWCD Principal Secretary Anu Garg also emphasised all actions being taken up by the state government to prevent the practice.
"Prevalence of child marriage has reduced substantially but the pace of reduction has to be accelerated to ensure that Odisha is child marriage free by 2030, we need to emphasise on the convergence among different departments like police, school and mass education, judiciary, higher education and skill development who have key roles in preventing occurrences of child marriage," Garg said.
According to official data from the year 2015-16, the prevalence of child marriages among girls in the state was reported to be 21.3 per cent against a national average of 26.8 per cent, whereas for boys the same was at 11 per cent against the national average of 20.3 per cent.
Odisha witnessed a decline of nearly 16 and 11 per cent between 2005-06 and 2015-16. However, one in five women aged 20-24 years is married by the age of 18 in Odisha.
The State Strategic Action Plan (2019-2024) is a comprehensive and time-bound approach to accelerate actions to deal with the complexities of ending child marriage, the SAP is expected to serve as a "multi-layered and multi-sectoral intervention" that aims at eliminating child marriage.
Actions outlined in the strategic focus areas would be implemented with strong linkages among all stakeholders and coordination across all tiers of governance, synergistic and coordinated efforts by multiple departments would be the key to achieving the goal set to end child marriage. (ANI)