UNICEF & NSS Jharkhand today organized an online session on prevention of child marriage for the NSS volunteers of Godda district. Over 100 NSS volunteers & NSS programme officers joined the programme & got oriented about the child marriage issue in the state.

Ms Deepika Pandey Singh, MLA, Mahgama constituency; Mr Prasanta Dash, Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand; Ms Astha Alang, Communication officer, UNICEF Jharkhand; Ms Preeti Srivastava, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Jharkhand & Dr Brajesh Kumar, State Nodal Officer, NSS Jharkhand also attended the programme and address the session.

Addressing the NSS volunteers of Godda district on child marriage issue, Ms Deepika Pandey Singh said, “It is a matter of joy for me that UNICEF has taken initiative to organize session for NSS volunteers of Godda district, where child marriage rate is very high in the state. Engaging NSS volunteers to this cause is very important as they would play important role in creating awareness in the society about the bad consequences of child marriage. 

Apart from NSS volunteers, we may also take support of educationist, health workers, PRI members & priests, so that we can disseminate the right messages around child marriage in the society.”

“NSS volunteers can organize small meetings and they can also visit door to door to make people aware about the impact of child marriage on children. If we want to address the issue of malnutrition & school dropouts in the state, then we must work on this issue, taking it as a great challenge for us,” she added.

Mr Prasanta Dash, Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand, said, “One out of every three marriages happens in state are child marriage. Godda district has the highest rate of child marriage in the state, where approx. 50% child marriages happens. Child marriage is the root cause of many problems, which state facing today, whether it is malnutrition, school dropouts & many others. Preventing child marriage is important to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG), which is directly linked with future growth and better prospects of the state. ”

“Child marriage is also the violation of child rights. If want to give children a better future and environment, then it is must to give them education and better opportunities, instead of engaging them with child marriage, which actually creates vicious cylce of poverty & deprivation. If we invest today, then it will give results in the next 4-5 years. Hence, it is the right time to invest and ensure a better environment for every child,” he added.

Ms Priti Srivastava, Child protection specialist UNICEF Jharkhand, oriented the volunteers and briefed them with the data and facts about the ground realities of child marriage in Jharkhand, especially in the Godda district. She apprised volunteers about the consequences of child marriage, where they can reach to complain in case of child marriage and who can be punished for this illegal work.  She urged volunteers to come forward for this cause and make people aware and ensure there are no more child marriages in the district.”  

Dr Brajesh Kumar, State Nodal Officer, UNICEF Jharkhand said, “NSS has a big number of cadets’ approx 1000 volunteers in Godda district. We have taken this issue as a challenge to reduce child marriage rate in Godda district. NSS volunteers will create awareness in their locality and they are committed to prevent child marriage in Godda as well as in the state of Jharkhand. 

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