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Community Radio Stations can help preventing child marriage in Odisha

 

Community-Radio-Consultation

Community Radio Station promoters discussing their possible role to end child marriage

Bhubaneswar |

Last updated May 25, 2017 1:46 AM +0530

  Child Marriage, Community Radio, Odisha, Social Change

With increasing community participation in programming, community radio stations can play as catalysts not only for preventing child marriage but also for bringing social change if engaged effectively, experts opined.

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Community radio stations can play vital role in ending social issues like child marriage, said child right experts and community radio promoters of Odisha. The opinion came at the state level consultation programme organized jointly by Konark based non-profit Young India and the Odisha chapters of ActionAid and Unicef in the city of Bhubaneswar.

Talking on the gravity of the issue of child marriage in the state of Odisha, Unicef’s child right expert Lakshmi Narayan Nanda highlighted the data provided in the recent National Family Health Survey (NFSH-4) and explained various reasons behind the practice of child marriage in the state.

“The situation is however improving in the state and continuous action by various agencies can prevent child marriage and end the practice in the state,” said Debabrat Patra, ActionAid’s Odisha chapter in-charge.

“Community media being closely working with communities can play an important role in sensitizing communities and preventing child marriage in their coverage regions.”

Speaking on the engagement of community radio stations in creating awareness in the communities, Sishir Kumar Das of Dashpalla based “Radio Suravi” brought to fore how his radio programme “Suna Jhia (Golden Girl)” has brought awareness among the parents to feel proud of having a daughter than counting a girl Child as a burden.

Stressing upon the fact that education of girls can help ending child marriage in the society, N A Shah Ansari of Radio Namaskar highlighted the programmes produced by the station crew to promote girls’ education and facilitate re-schooling of the drop-out girls. Ansari also urged for capacity building of persons engaged in production of community radio programmes.

Effective communication at the grassroots level can achieve bigger success in preventing child marriage, said Ghasiram Panda, communication head of ActionAid. He also explained how to access data on child marriage and related subjects to add value to the radio content.

While suggestions for creation of common as well as station and area specific content on child marriage was well taken by both experts and participants, Lakshmi Narayan Nanda of Unicef proposed for production of programmes and content in collaboration with district child protection units (DCPU).

Realising the gravity of the issue and its direct link with IMR and MMR, Community Radio Station promoters agreed to make the issue integral to their objective of bringing change in the society.

With increasing community participation in programming, community radio stations can play as catalysts not only for preventing child marriage but also for bringing social change if engaged effectively, experts opined.

 

 

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