Berhampur, Dec 8 (LocalWire) The Ganjam district administration has unveiled an innovative project to make the district “child marriage free”.
The administration will provide a cash award of Rs.5,000 to the person who will give prior information about any child marriage in the district, official sources said here today.
The decision was taken at the task force meeting of the “Nirbhaya Kadhi”, an initiative undertaken by the administration to create awareness against the child marriage on Saturday and the amount would be given from the funds of district protection unit.
‘Nirbhaya Kadhi’, a monthly programme being held every third Saturday, is appreciated across the state as it helps reduce the wrong practice and creates awareness among the people about the prevailing laws that restrict them to marry off their girls at a tender age.
“Even though some persons are aware of the preparations for child marriage in their respective areas, but they do not inform the administration out of fear.
Those who will now come forward to inform will be given cash award and their identity will not be disclosed for their safety”, said district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.
“At least a simple information will save the life of a girl”, the collector said.
Stating that there is a need for a massive awareness campaign about the aim and objective of ‘Nirbhaya Kadhi’ among the young population, Kulange also stressed for writing the messages against child marriage on school walls.
About 4.50 lakh students in 3,624 schools, Anganwadi workers and members of self-help groups (SHG) in the district had made a mass pledge on ‘Mu Sachetan’ ( I am aware) against child marriage on November 22.
Similarly, the administration has also roped in a different community and traditional leaders to sensitize them against the practice.
The announcement of cash award to the informer assumed significance as the number of child marriages have since increased Ganjam.
The district administration along with other organizations have foiled as many as 38 such cases during in 2019 so far.
In 2018 and 2017, they had received such reports of 23 and 32 respectively, he said.
Earlier, in its attempt to dispel the blind belief and practice of witchcraft in the district, the administration had announced cash award of Rs 50,000 over two months back to the person who can prove about the existence of ghost.
However, so far, no one has come forward to claim about the existence of ghost, the sources said.