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UNICEF launches awareness drive to end child marriage

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Jamshedpur: The district administration and UNICEF will jointly launch the ‘Yehi Hai Sahi’ awareness drive to end child marriage in East Singhbhum on November 5, 2018 at Patamda Block Office in East Singhbhum. This drive is part of the community awareness activities being organized as part of the adolescent empowerment programme being implemented in six blocks of Boram, Patamda, Dhalbhumgarh, Baharagora, Gurabandha and Chakulia in East Singhbhum district

The drive aims to influencing parents, adolescents and community stakeholders about the ills child marriages, the importance of education and the available reporting mechanisms. This awareness drive aims to reach out to 100,000 adolescents and 40,000 parents in 951 communities and schools in the six blocks of East Singhbhum district.

Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand says, “Ending child marriages is a key priority for UNICEF in this country programme. Child Marriage is at the root of health, education and protection issues of adolescents. By preventing child marriages adolescents could complete their education and ensure a better life.”

According to official data: 38% women (20-24 years of age) are married below 18 years in Jharkhand (NFHS 2015-16). 30.2% Men (25-29 years) are married below 21 years in Jharkhand (NFHS 2015-16). 12% of girls (15-19 years) in Jharkhand were pregnant or had already begun childbearing (NFHS 2015-16). 26.1% marriages in East Singbhum are child marriages and 9% percent girls (15-19 years) were pregnant or had already begun childbearing (NFHS 2015-16)

Dr. Madhulika Jonathan said that ending child marriages will reduce under five mortality, reduce under five stunting, increase the population’s earnings and productivity nationally by 1.0%, reduce the estimate of the national total fertility rate on average by 11%.

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