OdishaPlus Bureau


In a bid to end child marriage in the State, the Department of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti on Thursday launched a strategic action plan (SAP) with support of UNICEF & UNFPA to end child marriage in State. A conference was also organized as part of the launching ceremony in presence of Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPOs) from each block. Over 400 functionaries from the Department of WCD were present on the occasion.

Articulating her concern regarding the relatively high prevalence of Child Marriage in some districts, Women & Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu said that there is an immediate need to take all possible steps by government, civil society, international bodies and communities, and families should take proactive action to stop this social evil which is strongly embedded in social practices.


Department Secretary Anu Garg emphasized on all actions that are being taken up by the government to prevent this issue.
She said the prevalence of child marriage has reduced substantially but the pace of reduction has to be accelerated to ensure that Odisha is child marriage free by 2030. She emphasized the importance of convergence amongst different departments like police, school and mass education, judiciary, higher education and skill development who have key roles in preventing occurrences of child marriage.

Director Aravind Agarwal dwelt on the status of child marriage in Odisha, key determinants of child marriage and emphasizing the roles and responsibilities of departmental functionaries especially the newly designated CMPOs in the districts. While all departments and international bodies pledged their commitment to the prevention of child marriage in the state; Secretary Mission Shakti Sujata Karthikeyan explained the role of SHGs towards ending of child marriage.

State Programme Coordinator UNFPA Deepa Prasad discussed about the child marriage situation in Odisha, while, Chief of field office, UNICEF, Odisha Monika Neilson discussed on the key drivers of Child marriage in Odisha.

Around 500 participants including CDPO/CMPOs (Child marriage prohibition officers), Social welfare officers, DCPO (District child protection officers) from all the districts of the state, SHG representatives, representatives from Education, SC/ST, Home department, CSOs etc. were participated in the launching ceremony. State Strategic Action plan and new rules on the prevention of child marriage were also released and an audiovisual spot on child marriage screened during the conference.

DWCD felicitated six girls who said No to child marriage as champions of ending child marriage and CMPOs and DCPOs for outstanding action against child marriage during this conference. Also, key messages on child marriage were released by Tiki Mausi, mthe ascot of the Department of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha.

The State Strategic Action Plan (2019-2024) is a comprehensive and time bound approach to accelerate actions to deal with the complexities of ending child marriage. Actions outlined in the strategic focus areas would be implemented with strong linkages among all stakeholders and coordination across all tiers of governance, synergistic and coordinated efforts by multiple departments would be the key to achieving the goal set to end child marriage.