Posts Tagged ‘States told’
Prevent child marriages on Akshaya Tritiya, States told.
The Central government has ordered the States to take all possible measures to combat a wave of child marriages which authorities fear will take place across the Hindu heartland on Tuesday, on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.
In a letter to the States, the Women and Child Welfare Ministry has warned governments that child marriage is illegal under the Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, 2006.
The Ministry has suggested that all district magistrates or Collectors, deputy inspectors-general or Superintendents of Police, sarpanches, State Women Commissions, civil society organisations and child marriage prevention officers in the States and Union Territories be alerted to take all possible preventive measures for breaking the tradition of holding child marriages.
Child marriage is a retrograde social practice whose elimination will not only require a change in the mindset of society but also a strict legal and other schematic intervention, the Ministry has said.
Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on April 24, is considered an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar and a large number of children are married off on this day in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, particularly in the rural belt.
Child marriages are often linked to a good crop preceded by a good monsoon. When farmers make money in a prosperous season, they marry off children irrespective of their age. On Akshaya Tritiya, also known as ‘Akha Teej’, thousands of marriages take place with a majority of these being of minors.
Efforts by the governments to crack down on child marriages have met with mixed success. In 2010, there were reports of mass child marriages from Rajasthan’s Gothera village, despite the State government’s instructions that such violations would mean reprimands for administrators. Police said they were unable to stop the marriages because the villagers secretly organised the ceremonies two days before Akha Teej.
Earlier this week, the CAG had criticised a Rajasthan government-run scheme to support the weddings of Dalit girls, saying the authorities had released funds though documents showed that the beneficiaries were underage.