Bhubaneswar, 17/03/2017 ( Odisha Samachar / Abhisek Mohanty )- : About 25 leaders from 23 different communities like Bhulia, Sapua Kela, Mali, Thanapati, Paudi Bhuyan, Shabar, Didayi, Kutia Kandh, Bhunjia, Gouda, Santal, Munda, Kharia, Lodha, Kandha, Oram, Dharua, Paharia, Soura, Gond, Bhumia, Muslim, Christian from 13 districts ( Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Sundergarh, Nuapada, Raygada, Bargarh, Kandhmal, Malkangiri, Koraput, Sonepur, Khordha, & Jajpur) of Odisha attended this meet and shared their experiences against child marriage and draw up a plan of action against the same at the state level workshop with the tribal leaders, faith leaders and leaders of caste panchayats organised by ActionAid with the support from UNICEF on Friday.
Debabrata Patra, Regional Manager of ActionAid welcomed the participants and explained the objectives of meeting and stressed that there need to be greater mobilsation against child marriage and stressed the need to replicate the best practices across many tribal communities to stop child marriage and come together against such practice.
Various leaders from tribal communities like Paudi Bhuyan and Gond shared their social practices against child marriage and highlighted how they would like to draw up a campaign against it.
Dr Amrita Patel, Project Director, SRCW, Women & Child Development Department, Kasturi Mahapatra, Chairperson, OSCPCR, Yumi Bae, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Snehanjali Mohanty, Member State Women Commission, D. Pruthwiraj, Education & Life Specialist, TSU, Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Yumi Bae, Chief of UNICEF (Odisha) said there needs to be urgent efforts to save our girls against child marriage. She added that change has already begun and if we continue our efforts, incidents of child marriage will decrease.
Among other participants, Laxminarayan Nanda, Lopamudra Tripathy, Alka Gupta from Unicef and Ghasiram Panda, Puspasree Devi, Sudeshna Mishra & Lopamudra Behera from ActionAid Regional Office Odisha were present in the meeting.