Deputy Commissioner of Sivasagar in eastern Assam, Dr S Lakshmanan on Saturday said that the faith leaders play an influential role in society and thus can positively impact upon eradicating malpractices like child marriage etc still prevalent in the society.
Dr S Lakshmanan said this in a one day consultation held with the religious leaders on child protection in Sivasagar on Saturday.
He called on the religious leaders to generate mass awareness on the ill impact of child marriage and to prepare strategical approach on combatting such ill practices in society to ensure the welfare and protection of women and children.
He ensured of extending all possible cooperation in this regard.
The consultation was organized by the District Children and Adolescent Cell (DCAC) with the support of UNICEF, Assam at a hotel in Sivasagar.
The objectives of the consultation were to understand the key barriers that impede adoption of correct practices by communities relating to ending early marriage, early registration of pregnancy and institutional delivery; increase knowledge of the technically correct key messages relating to the identified behaviours; enhance ability to communicate these messages with reference to the teachings of the faith; share experiences with peers on areas of influence and innovative ways of communicating with their constituents and to develop action plans to advocate on these issues with faith leaders and to promote at community level.
It may be noted that as per National Family Health Survey-4, the Child Mortality Rate (CMR) in Assam is 32.6 per cent and in Sivasagar it is 30 per cent.
Along with a host of faith leaders participating from across the district, the consultation was attended by assistant commissioner and branch officer of District Children and Adolescent Cell Gauri Priya Deuri; Social Behaviour Change Communication Specialist of UNICEF, Assam, Suresh Bhai Parmar; Office Executive of UNICEF, Assam Tulip Saikia Cheleng; District Coordinator of DCAC Sandhani Gogoi and Consultant of SBCC under UNICEF, Assam Gitali Kakati.