Women's group prevents child marriage in Bajura district

BAJURA: The local levels, government and non-government organisations, women’s groups, and children’s groups among others have been actively involved in carrying out activities to enhance awareness against issues such as child marriage in Bajura district.

An 18-year-old boy of Pandusen, Budhinanda Municipality-10 of the district, eloped with a 16-year-old girl of Pipadali in Budhinanda Municipality-1 four days ago. After this, the father of the boy started making preparations to get them both married in the traditional manner. The youths were kept in hiding inside the house with the fear of authorities, including the police, knowing about their situation.

Juneli Women and Girls Group in the village, on Wednesday, became aware about their wedding that was going to take place. As they received this information, the group intervened and prevented the wedding of the minors, according to the chair of the group Jaumati Luwar.

She added that the girl was handed over to her family with an agreement to not get her married while she is still a minor. The girl was studying in grade 8, when she had eloped with the boy.

The women of the village had been able to prevent a similar marriage of underage youths prior to this, said Neera Rokaya, a social leader.

According to acting chief at the Women and Children Office in Bajura, Bindu Badaal, the women started campaigns against child marriage with the growth in number of such cases of late. The women and children groups in the district have remained active to prevent such occurrences.

Various kinds of awareness programmes are being implemented, according to a social mobiliser, Chandra Khadka, working at PeaceWin, Bajura, a non-government social organisation that works with marginalised groups, especially children and women for promotion of their social, economic, and cultural rights.

Likewise, campaigns are being organised in the villages to eliminate domestic violence, violence against women, child marriage and polygamy with the formation of groups comprising women and girls, said Pradip Jaishi, programme officer at PeaceWin, Bajura.

The women gather once a week to carry out various kinds of awareness activities. The groups are active in addressing various social issues, including but not limited to prevention of child marriage.