Kerala

Inja to create awareness on child marriage among tribespeople

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan releasing the poster of Inja, a film in Paniya tribal language to sensitise tribal people to child marriage, on Friday.  

Child marriage is common among tribespeople, especially the Paniya and Kattunaikar tribes in Wayanad, and has remained part of their custom for many years. In several cases, tribal youths who marry underage girls as per their traditional customs are booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is preparing to come up with a 45-minute film titled Inja in tribal language to create awareness among tribespeople on the implications of child marriage. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan released the poster of the film on Friday.

Several tribesmen ignorant about the stringent provisions under the POCSO Act had wed minor girls keeping with their traditional practice and ended up in jail, said K. Rajesh, sub-judge, Wayanad. Many a time, cases were registered without a formal complaint from the minor girl or her parents, added Mr. Rajesh, who is also Secretary of Wayanad DLSA.

Usually such cases are registered after the minor girl is admitted to hospital for delivery. The hospital authorities inform the police, and the latter arrest the husband under the POCSO Act.

As many as 250 such cases have been registered in Wayanad district alone from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. About 225 of such cases were from the Scheduled Tribe community, said Mr. Rajesh.

Though many awareness programmes were conducted by various government agencies and NGOs to create awareness among the tribespeople, they were yet to show results. “Hence, we planned to produce a film in tribal language to make a positive impact,” he added.

Inja focuses on the social and legal problems faced by a minor tribal girl after being married, said Bhaskaran Bathery, the director of the film. ‘Inja’ is the name of the protagonist, and Theertha of Cherumad tribal hamlet in Nenmeni grama panchayat essays the role. Chandran of Vannathara tribal hamlet at Chulliyodu is the lead actor.

The shooting is under way and the film is expected to be released by October-end. The film is being produced by Wayanad DLSA with financial assistance from the Scheduled Tribes Development Department. District Judge Nissar Ahmed and Mr. Rajesh and also appear in the film.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 7:24:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/inja-to-create-awareness-on-child-marriage-among-tribespeople/article36900204.ece

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