Berhampur: The Ganjam district administration has launched an initiative to give a cash reward of Rs 5,000 to any person who provides tip-off about a child marriage.
The money would be doled out from the funds of the district’s child protection unit, an official said. The informer’s identity would remain secret, he added.
The decision to offer cash reward to curb the malpractice was taken at a monthly meeting of administration officials.
According to the 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,” Kulange said.
If the administration received information on time, a girl’s life could be saved, he stressed.
“Similarly, the administration also held talks with the leaders of different communities to sensitise them against child marriage,” he added.
“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,” Kulange informed, PTI reported.