Published On: March 10, 2023 03:30 PM NPT By: Lalit Bista
Social Protection Civil Society Network active in reducing child marriage
KALIKOT, March 9: Child marriage rate has decreased in Raskot Municipality, Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality and Narharinath Rural Municipality of Kalikot district in recent years. The number of child marriages has decreased compared to the past.
With the economic and social awakening of Plan International Nepal and Social Awareness and Development Association (SADA) Nepal, officials of Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN) have become active to prevent child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage.
Various types of public awareness programs are being conducted by the SPCSN. They have also been active in preventing child marriage and reducing gender discrimination. The project implemented in Raskot Municipality, Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality and Narharinath municipality has helped reduce the child marriage rates than before, according to the program coordinator of SADA Nepal, Kalikot. The main cause of child marriage in society is the lack of knowledge about physical and mental problems, illiteracy and poverty.
Chief District Officer (CDO) Jora Singh Majhi said that the organization of various programs from time to time by different organizations has provided creative support to prevent child marriage by raising public awareness. He said if illiteracy and poverty could be ended, child marriage which is prevalent in society will also come to an end. He added, everyone should unite to prevent child marriage in our society. Our society is still caught in traditional thinking and in some cases, child marriage is taken as a form of reconciliation in the village.
Since the police do not keep the name of the whistleblower confidential after s/he files a complaint against a case of child marriage, Amana Farsa, a teenager from Raskot, said that people refrained from reporting such cases. She said, “The campaigners against child marriage are being threatened because the police expose the whistleblowers instead of hiding their identity.”
According to Information Officer Subraj Bam of the District Police Office, Kalikot, most child marriage cases remain unreported in the district. Six cases of child marriage were registered at the police office in Kalikot district in the financial year 2021/2022 and four in 2022/2023 so far. Bam said, in Kalikot district, people usually get married at the age of 16-17. He stated that there is a trend of living together but not informing anyone about the marriage.
Child marriage rate drops to 51 percent
The rate of child marriage has dropped to 51 percent in the three municipalities of Kalikot. In Raskot Municipality, it was 58 percent three years ago, but now it has dropped to 48 percent.
Similarly, in Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality, the rate of child marriage was 74 percent three years ago. It has now dropped to 52 percent. In Narharinath Rural Municipality, the child marriage rate was 67 percent earlier and but now it is down to 51 percent, according to Ambika Prasad Timilsina, program manager of Plan International Nepal.
He said, in partnership with Plan International Nepal and SADA Nepal, various programs have been conducted to prevent child marriage in all three municipalities for the past three years. Timilsina said that this has helped a lot to lower the child marriage rate.
SPCSN officials have many roles in preventing child marriage in society. Nagraj Yogi, vice-president of Kalikot Federation of Nepali Journalists, said, “The lack of law enforcement, lack of awareness at the local level, the burden of poverty in the family are also the causes of child marriage in society.”
The organizations have demanded that the provision of taking complaints from the victims should be managed at a program organized in the district by the local police. KIRDARC Nepal, HuRENDEC Nepal, SADA Nepal, INF Nepal, Plan International Nepal have been organizing joint campaigns and awareness programs in the villages to prevent child marriage.
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