Berhampur, Oct 23 (LocalWire): In a bid to make Gajapati a child marriage-free district, the district authorities decided to set up task forces for the same at the block and panchayat level.
While the block development officer will manage the task force at the block level, the sarpanch will lead the task force at the Panchayat level in the next one month.
The task forces will create awareness against child marriage, said Gajapati collector Anupam Saha, who is also the chairman of the 16-member district-level task force on child marriage.
The district-level task force meeting was held at Paralakhemundi on Wednesday.
The meeting emphasized the need to make Gajapati a child marriage-free district, sources said.
Formation of the task forces at block and panchayat levels will be completed by November 15, said the district child protection officer (DCPO) Arun Kumar Tripathy.
From 2017 to September 2020, the district administration has stopped 61 child marriages in the district, he said. During the first nine months of 2020, as many as 10 child marriage events were stopped by the administration, he said.
However, no arrests were made in this connection during the period, sources said.
Only two persons, i.e. the groom and the mother of the bride, had been arrested in a child marriage event in a village under R.Udayagiri police station limits in 2015, said the DCPO. Child Development Project Officers (CDPO) are designated as the Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPO).
“All the officials, including Asha, Anganwadi workers and members of the Panchayati raj institutions need to keep a strict vigil on the child marriage bid and immediately inform the district administration if they get any related information, said the collector.
People, particularly in rural areas need to be educated about the consequences of child marriage and punishment under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act-2006, said the collector.