Students to educate local body members and teachers

The Madurai district police have embarked on an ambitious project to prevent child marriages through a campaign, ‘Zero child marriage 2014’, that would create an awareness among students, elected representatives and teachers in this regard.

It had been planned to complete the campaign by December 2013, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said on Tuesday. The police had prevented 14 child marriages each in 2012 and 2013, he pointed out.

At an interactive session with reporters here, he said the police would monitor marriage halls and temples in the district on auspicious days to check whether any male under the age of 21 years or female under the age of 18 years was getting married.

As part of the campaign, a private management consultancy, Enteccon, in association with Madurai Institute of Social Sciences and Child Welfare Committee (CWC), will educate 40 college students and all panchayat presidents on the evil consequences of child marriage. The trained students will create an awareness among other local body representatives and teachers.

CWC chairperson Jim Jesudoss said Usilampatti, Melur, Sellur, Andalpuram and Jaihindpuram were the places where more number of child marriages had been reported.

Mr.Balakrishnan said any person coming to know of a proposed child marriage could alert the police by dialling 100 or Childline 1098. Child marriage was a cognizable and non-bailable offence under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, he noted.

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