Wednesday, December 8, 2021
TelanganaCovid sparks child marriage trend in erstwhile Warangal

Covid sparks child marriage trend in erstwhile Warangal

Published: 4th Dec 2020 11:44 pm

Warangal: Despite campaign against child marriages by official machinery as well as non-government organisations (NGOs), the illegal practice has been taking place in erstwhile Warangal district.

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Sources said as many as 91 child marriages were averted by the officials in the erstwhile Warangal district in the last nine months. While 29 marriages were stopped in Warangal Rural district, 20 marriages were prevented in Mulugu district and 17 in Jangaon district. Four more marriages were stopped in Warangal Urban district which consists of GWMC area and six were stopped in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district. As many as 15 early marriages were prevented in Mahabubabad district.

Mulugu, Warangal Rural and Mahabubabad of erstwhile Warangal district have more tribal population compared to other districts. “Covid-19 pandemic not only affected the education of children due to closure of schools, but also forced poor parents to go for child marriages of their girls,” Mandala Parashuramulu, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, erstwhile Warangal district, told Telangana Today.

Stating that information on number of child marriages given by the authorities is less, Parashuramulu said that there was a need to increase vigilance from time to time by creating awareness on Prohibition of Child Marriage Act in coordination with the Child Marriage Specialists from village level to district level in erstwhile Warangal district.

“The government should make it mandatory for priests to prevent child marriages. Steps should be taken to write the ‘marriage certificate’ only if the girl submits the date of birth certificate,” he suggested.

District Nodal Coordinator, Childline-1098, Warangal Urban, Iqbal Pasha said that the families with poor socio-economic background found lockdown an ideal time to perform the marriages at less cost in view of restrictions imposed by the government.

“Eloping cases have also instilled far among parents who are forced to get their girls married at an early age. The child marriages are also taking place due to closure of schools as children are seen as ‘burden’ to parents in the absence of mid-day meals. Many parents feel marriages could go off without a whisper and without the need of inviting relatives,” he said and added that several marriages were performed although the officials had counselled parents of both the bride and the groom about the ill-effects of child marriage.

“Even though child marriages have cultural and social legitimacy in many parts of the district, they deprive the children of their childhood and subject them to neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence. However, they are not considered a violation of child rights. And it seems a lot more needs to be done to prevent child marriages,” he added.

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