Bhubaneswar(29/11/2020): The National Action and Coordination Group for Ending Violence Against Children India(NACG EVAC India), organised a National Youth Convention on on ” Preventing Child Marriage ” through virtual platform in collaboration with Terre de hommes, NL.

The Convention was attended by around 220 Participants mostly young changemakers from different parts of India. The Convention addressed significant issues about involvement of young changemakers in preventing child marriage in India.

Young Changemakers from different states shared their learning, innovations, views, suggestion for preventing child marriage with focus on, during covid19 pandemic & post lockdown situation. Speaking on the occasion Dr.Rinchen Chopel, Director General, SAIEVAC , expressed that we can get success in preventing child marriage by bringing children and youth to the center and ensure that we support them in bringing critical changes in this fight of preventing child marriage. Asim Amitabh Dash, Member, Odisha Human Rights Commission in his key note address expressed that child marriage has been an alarming topic after this covid19 pandemic.

It is apprehended that many children are forced to marry at early age during this period as schools are closed and children are not able to go to school, many people lost their jobs and due to this financial crisis, people treat daughters as a burden and to get rid of this burden they are marrying off their children .

He said that young people should come up and carry this message and convey to everyone that child marriage is a social evil and we should work together in preventing it.

Thangaperumal Popandi, Country Manager, India, TDH- NL said that the main motive of arranging this convention is to listen and gather information from youth about what are their suggestion and ideas regarding preventing child marriage. Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, Chairperson, NACG EVAC, India, chaired the inaugural session.

D.Roshan Kumar, Vice Chairperson gave welcome address. Sanjay Gupta, Vice- Chairperson,NACG EVAC India moderated the youth panel “Youth in action to prevent child marriage.” Young changemakers Akulappali Manasa, Warangal, Telengana, Bishnupriya Pradhan, Kandhamal, Odisha, Divya Chanumolu, Khammam, Telengana, Midde Roopa, Kadapa, Andhrapradesh, Poonam Rajput, Agra, Uttarpradesh, Pratima Mandal, New Delhi, Sai Keerthana, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, and many others shared their experiences and work that they have been doing to prevent child marriage and came out with suggestions and recommendations. Sanjay Mishra, Treasurer, NACG EVAC, India, Member, Child Protection, NITI Aayog, Standing Committee moderated the expert panel discussion on ” Preventing Child marriage with focus on during COVID 19 pandemic- Role of Youths”.

Razia Ismail, Head, IACR, New Delhi, Varun Pathak, Advocate, Supreme court, Subrat kumar Panda ,’Girls Advocacy Alliance’ , Vikram Srivastav, Advocate & Founder, Independent Thought and Mikhael Pradhan, Head Advocacy, World Vision India spoke and shared their views. While appreciating the actions by young changemakers to prevent child marriage, the panelists focused on enforcement of existing laws, effective function of systems, structures and mechanism relating to child protection, awareness against dowry system, honour killing etc, sensitisation of parents, community on adverse effect of child marriage on children, strengthening economic status of vulnerable families and mobilisation of youths to act for prevention of child marriage etc . Aditi P.Kaur, National Executive Committee member & thematic Head, Child participation theme of NACG India moved the vote of thanks. .