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Today Date : Friday, May 24, 2024

Stress on collective commitment at consultative meet on child marriage mitigation

Stress on collective commitment at consultative meet on child marriage mitigation

In a concerted effort to combat the pervasive issue of child marriages, bolster awareness on preventive measures and toemphasise collective commitment towards safeguarding the rights and well-being of vulnerable minors, a crucial consultation meeting was convened on May 7, 2024, at the District Collectorate, helmed by District Collector Dr. R. Brindadevi
Underlining the gravity of the situation, the District Collector underscored the legal framework delineated in the Child Marriage Act of 2006, which deems marriages involving girls below 18 years and boys below 21 years as child marriages. It was emphasized that such unions jeopardize the future welfare, physical health, and educational prospects of the minors involved.
To spearhead preventive efforts, a multidisciplinary team comprising the District Social Welfare Officer, District Child Protection Officer, Police Officer, Village Administrative Officers, Extension and Village Welfare Officers, has been appointed as child marriage prevention officers at the district level. Additionally, directives have been issued to Child Development Program Officers and Anganwadi workers to undertake vigilant monitoring activities within their purview.
Stringent penalties await those found complicit in facilitating child marriages, including imprisonment for up to two years and fines amounting to Rs.1 lakh. A proactive approach to raising awareness has been advocated, urging for dissemination of information in educational institutions, village council meetings, and other public forums. Particularly, the nexus between school dropout rates and child marriages has been acknowledged, prompting the School Education Department to collaborate closely with the District Social Welfare Officer to mitigate this issue.
To streamline reporting mechanisms, toll-free numbers (1098, 151) have been designated for reporting incidents of child marriages, supplemented by direct contact channels with the District Social Welfare Officer.
The meeting, attended by District Social Welfare Officer Mrs. Sukanti, Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr. Annadurai, Deputy Director Health Services Dr. Soundammal, and other relevant stakeholders.