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Youngsters take pledge to stop child marriages, ensure that kids don't suffer loss of innocence

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Children  Child Marriage  UNICEF  Youth Group  Bhopal  Michael Juma  Anil Gulati



BHOPAL: On the eve of children's day, youth groups as part of youth4children--an initiative of UNICEF, organised an event to call for action on child marriage.

Youth groups had displayed 100 doll couples out of which 32 were married as children and had books and toys in hand to show that they lost their childhood, a powerful symbol with strong call to say no to child marriage.

Speaking at the event Nirmala Buch, President Child Rights Observatory said that efforts have made to reduce child marriage, but still a lot needs to be done, and we are at the event to add the pledge to stop child marriage. She added that this is powerful symbolic to show the issue and need to work for it.

Michael Juma, Chief UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh, said that child marriage is violation of child rights, and we need to say, 'no to child marriage'.We are marking 30 years of signing, 'The Convention on the Rights of the Child', a lot has been done but still many children are missing and we have challenges like child marriage and violence against children, which need stronger action.

Anil Gulati, UNICEF Communication Specialist said that this effort by youth groups of Bhopal with school forum of child rights observatory on the occasion of children's day is important to come out with this symbolic way to bring the issue to discourse, which is important so that we can focus more on the issue of child marriage, which still happens.

Gayatri Parihar of Vasudha Sansthan anchored the programme and said that National Family Health Survey data shows that in Madhya Pradesh 32.4 % children get married before their eligible age. The programme was supported by youth groups with NGOs Sky Social and Aarav Disha of Bhopal. Around 50 young people and adolescents were part of the event held at Ankur School on link road at Bhopal Shristhi Pragat of Sky Social, Rashmi and Raghuraj Singh of CRO were present at the occasion with young people.