Akshay Tritiya Campaign on Prevention of Child Marriages at Kalimpong

Akshay Tritiya is an auspicious occasion for Hindu’s to organize marriages. Unfortunately around Akshay Tritiaya child marriages were also rampantly solemnized. Therefore this year 2024 “child Marriage Free India” campaign decided to take on Akshay Tritya Campaign to prevent child marriages. SPAN as the partner organization of “Child Marriage Free India Campaign” as well as Access to Justice Program has taken on this campaign in Kalimpong District of West Bengal from 1st – 13th May, 2024 .

Village level Marriage Register was introduce along with the local Panchayat member from 1st April, 2024 to track and record all the marriages happening in the villages. This will help to identify child marriages if have taken place. SPAN CSW along with the panchayat member and ASHA worker collected data on marriages. It has been observed that no child marriages was organized in this period (1 April – 13 May 2024).

SPAN has issues Press releases claiming similar steps to be taken in West Bengal as per the Land mark judgment of Rajasthan High Court to make Panchayat accountable on Child Marriage. The order comes after a PIL was filed by Just Rights For Children Alliance and others who sought urgent intervention so that thousands of child marriages scheduled around Akshaya Tritiya can be prevented from being held. SPAN’s claim was covered by local Print Media Himalaya Darpan (Nepali) and Web news “Hello 24 Web”.

Rally against Child Marriage was organized at villages such as Sangsay, Yogda, lower Ambiok, etc. in Kalimpong district. Local Panchayat members, members of Women SHG, School Teachers, student and common villagers were participated in these rally. Rally was conducted with posters, banners, and slogans against child marriage.

School Student Sensitization Program was organized in Lower Fagu High Schools and other Schools at Gorubathan Block of Kalimpong district on Child marriage.

Community Awareness Program at Temple and Churches of local villages for prevention of Child Marriage. Local holy person and priest were also present in the the program and spoke against child marriages

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