As Odisha continues to witness a large number of child marriages, mostly in rural pockets, the State government has decided to rope in various departments to put an end to the social aberration. The departments are Law, School and Mass Education, Higher Education, Skill Development and SC and ST Development. The Women and Child Welfare (WCD) department on Wednesday wrote to secretaries of the departments seeking their intervention into prevention of such weddings, tracking vulnerable children and rehabilitating them under relevant schemes.
The SME department has been urged to enroll vulnerable adolescent girls (both rescued from child marriage and orphaned) into Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and other residential schools. It has been suggested to introduce a chapter on child marriage, its consequences, and legal provisions of child marriage in Class 8 curriculum. Similarly, the SC and ST development department was requested to ensure continuation of education of tribal girls and engage with local tribal influencers and leaders for advocacy of community-specific advisories against child marriages.
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