Student Police Cadets of Vithura school in Kerala capital pilots global campaign against child marriage, trafficking

An awareness cycle rally, led by Vithura station house officer S. Sreejith, as part of the campaign.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Student Police Cadets (SPC) of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Vithura, have come together to pilot an international campaign against child marriage and child trafficking.

It is estimated that there were 82 child marriages during the lockdown alone in the State. The Vithura school’s SPC unit is rolling out the three-month campaign as part of an international initiative supported by Mission Better Tomorrow, a global platform for SPC, and Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) initiatives The Bridge Institute, a global non-governmental organisation, and the Kalinga Fellowship, a programme for combating trafficking.

The ‘Zero tolerance to child marriage’ campaign is being piloted in India and Ghana in Africa. In India, it is being implemented in the State first. Along with the Vithura school, MV Higher Secondary School, Ariyallur, Malappuram, has also been selected for the pilot campaign.

The Vithura school SPC unit kick-started the drive with a two-day orientation session held for 23 core team members – 10 students from Classes 8 to 10, and 13 belonging to student volunteer corps.

Strategies explored

Online and offline sessions were held during the orientation programme in which the core team brainstormed strategies such as door-to-door visits, leaflet distribution, short films, rallies, social media campaigns and street plays to generate awareness about child marriage and child-trafficking.

The support of Vithura grama panchayat, Vithura Janamaithri and child-friendly police, volunteers, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), gender resource centre, District Child Protection Unit, Childline, and so on was also offered.

The campaign, to be formally launched on December 10, also celebrated as Human Rights Day, will focus on the over 20 tribal settlements in Vithura panchayat, Vithura town and Tholicode panchayat.

Cycle brigade

A 30-member cycle brigade too has been formed to facilitate visits to tribal settlements. An awareness cycle rally, led by Vithura station house officer S. Sreejith, was also held.

The Kuttipallikoodams set up in five tribal settlements in the panchayat will function as a hub for the campaign. Awareness programmes led by students will be held in all schools in Vithura panchayat, said community police officer K. Anver.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 8:20:09 PM |

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