Bajura gears up to stop child marriage
“In Bajura, 402 out of 573 marriages involved children”
A recent survey report on the status of child marriage in Bajura district made public by the District Child Welfare Board showed these alarming numbers.
For the first time in the district’s history, child marriage data of 12 VDCs was made public with the help of NORAD funded Sahayatra project. The survey results show that 70 percent of total marriages in Bajura involve children. The data compiled over a period of a year (Nepali year 2013 BS) shows that out of 573 marriages, 10 percent were of children under the age of 15, 53 percent were aged between 15 to 18 and 37 percent aged between19 to 20.
Considering the high number of early marriages in Bajura, a district level committee has been formed to implement the strategic plan of the Government of Nepal 2072 under the initiative of Women and Child office and other concerned stakeholders. The committee’s main objective is to wipe out child marriage from the district.
District police has also devised an action plan to conduct awareness raising activities on this issue. According to DSP Dal Bahadur Bogati, the very first case of child marriage has been registered in the district court of Bajura under this initiation. He is hopeful that more cases of child marriages which existed in the community but went unreported will be reported now as the police also have an action plan to conduct awareness activities to remove child marriage from the community.
Media is also playing an active role to create awareness about child marriage and its adverse consequences
Save the Children and partner NGO has launched a series of activities that include street drama, rallies, advocacy on this issues in local and national platforms, sharing of information at all levels, partnering with media, initiating dialogues at the local level, and broadcasting radio jingles though local radio stations. Likewise, District Development Committee and Village Development Committee has also allocated budget to conduct anti-child marriage awareness
Funded by NORAD, Integrated Program – Sahayatra aims to improve the status of education, protection and child rights with a special focus on children from the most deprived and marginalized community over the four years (2015-2018) in Achham, Bajura, Banke, Dailekh and Kalikot in Far and Midwest Nepal. The project is called ‘integrated’ as it is designed to address the issues of quality learning environment, child rights situation, creating safe, supportive and protective environment for children at school and community settings. To ensure the relevance of the program at local level, existing partners and children have been involved in the designing phase of the program through initial discussions, consultation and workshops.