Berhampur, Jan 8 (LocalWire): Ganjam district administration has thwarted at least seven child marriage bids in the last two days, officials said.
While four marriages were foiled in BadaKholi panchayat, two were stopped at Sanakholi panchayat in Aska block and one in old Berhampur area, the district child protection officer (DCPO), Subodh Kant Sarangi, said.
Engagements of some couples were already through. The brides-to-be were all aged between 15 to 17 years.
After getting information from reliable sources, officials from the district administration, respective police officers and activists of Childline rushed to the villages.
‘We convinced their parents not to marry off their minor daughters, which was prohibited by law.
After much persuasion, they agreed. They have given an undertaking of not marrying off their daughters till they attain 18 years of age,’ coordinator, Childline, Sai Prasad Samal said.
While the district administration had foiled as many as 42 such cases in 2019, these were the first such cases that came to the fore in 2020.
In 2018 and 2017, they had received reports of 23 and 32 child marriages respectively, he said.
Sudhir Sabat, director of Chikdline and a child rights activist said child marriages are arranged by families from low-income groups, for girls aged 15-17 years.
‘With the increasing instances of violence against girl children, parents think it is safe to get their daughters married off early,’ said Sabat.