West Nawalparasi ranks fourth in terms of the prevalence of child marriage within the Lumbini Province.
It is said early marriage remains as one of the major social issues in the district. In response to this concern, the Susta rural municipality in the district has launched a programme aiming to discourage child marriage. The programme titled ' Daughter, Bright Future Programme' has been launched to contain early marriage within the locality.
Under this initiative, the local government provides a financial incentive to newborn baby girls within the locality. Rural municipality Vice-Chair Gita Chaudhary said that every newly born daughter in the area is eligible for a cash offering of Rs 25,000. This assistance is specifically intended to support the girl's education and prevent early marriages.
However, the offering comes with certain conditions to ensure its effectiveness. The birth registration must be completed within 35 days of the baby's birth, expectant mothers should undergo health checkups at least eight times during pregnancy, child's delivery is required to take place within a health institution, there must be a commitment to ensuring the child's education up to class 12 and the couple should have maximum two offspring.
Furthermore, the monetary assistance can only be withdrawn after a period of 20 years from the initial deposit.