Berhampur: The administration in Odisha’s Ganjam district has launched an initiative under which any person who provided tip-off about a child marriage would receive a cash reward of Rs 5,000, an official said.
The money would be doled out from the funds of the district’s child protection unit, he said. The administration officials, during their monthly meet at an anganwadi centre on Saturday, decided to launch the initiative, as part of their efforts to curb the practice.
The identity of the informer would remain a secret, the official said. According to District Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange, the Ganjam administration, along with NGOs and self-help groups, has foiled as many as 38 child marriages this year.
“Though people get to know about the preparations for a child marriage, they do not inform the administration fearing backlash by village leaders. The cash award will motivate people to come forward and flag such cases,” he said.
If the administration received information on time, a girl’s life could be saved, he stressed. “Around 4.50 lakh students of over 3000 schools, several anganwadi workers and members of self-help groups in the district had taken a ‘Mu Sachetan’ (I am aware) pledge against child marriage in November.
“Similarly, the administration also held interactions with leaders of different communities to sensitise them against child marriage,” Kulange added.