Child marriage foiled in Kabisuryanagar

Berhampur: An attempt to marry off a 16-year-old orphan girl by her guardian was foiled by the child rights activists and government officials in Kabisurya Nagar of Ganjam district on Tuesday.

MM Nayak, CDPO-cum child marriage prohibition officer, said, “A team comprising a child welfare officer, child development project officer (CDPO), social activists and police personnel intervened and convinced her guardians to call off the marriage as she had not attained the age of 18.”

The marriage was to be held on April 27, the police said.

On basis of a tip-off, the team visited her guardian’s residence at Hindol in Kabisurya Nagar block yesterday. The girl, who is a student of class 12, lives with her uncle, an official said.

With this incident, at least five child marriages have been foiled in the district in the last five days, activists of ‘Childline’ have claimed.

Last week on Thursday, an attempt to marry off a 15-year-old girl to a man, about eight years older to her, was foiled by the district administration, police and child rights activists at Shyamalal in Hinjili area.

Similarly, an attempt to marry off at least three teenage girls in Balisira under Aska block was foiled by administration and activists on Saturday last week.

All the parents agreed and gave undertakings to postpone the marriage of their daughters till they attain 18 years of age, ‘Childline’ centre coordinator, Ganjam, H K Ray, said.

Last year, 41 child marriages, were stopped in the district where most of the cases were from Aska (14) and Patrapur (11) blocks, said Sudhir Sabat, director, ‘Childline’, Ganjam district.

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