Bhubaneswar: Several youths from the state Tuesday took to the social media to send messages to the target audience to end the menace of child marriage.
On the occasion of World Children’s Day, six youths from the city who were keen to volunteer against child marriage, experimented with social media to reach out to netizens. Their focus was to draw attention of the children completing their education.
”We had a great time today. It was a lot of fun but we also learnt how to use Facebook better. We posted on the group, replied to comments. We got a lot of replies from everyone. It felt good,” Dali Pradhan, one of the young students who took part in the campaign said.
Sudhir Pradhan, another adolescent who took over the group today said, “I got to interact with new people on Facebook beyond my friend circle on this group and talk about stopping child marriage. We also learned how to operate a Facebook group thanks to this opportunity.”
In Odisha, UNICEF in collaboration with ActionAid created ‘Balya Bibaha Pratirodh Manch,’ a platform where young and adolescent boys and girls stand as champions against child marriage. This year these adolescents turned to social media as a medium to air their views against child marriage and to promote education as a means to put an end to this social evil. These adolescents are themselves in schools or undergraduate courses.
“Education empowers girls and boys to think, act and decide for themselves. It gives them the knowledge and information to make their own decisions. Children who complete their education do not get married early and have a better opportunity to reach their full potential, said Alka Gupta, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Odisha.”
“Social media has a substantive presence not just in urban but also in rural Odisha. It is a medium that connects young people. By building capacity of these young people it will help them understand how to use social media to effectively advocate their views,” said Ghasiram Panda, Programme Manager of ActionAid.