The wedding of a 16-year-old girl slated for Sunday was cancelled following a stern warning issued by the District Administration to the families involved in the marriage. Enquiries reveal that the District Collector, Hanish Chhabra received an e-mail two days ago stating that a girl studying in class XI was about to tie nuptial knot with a man identified by her family at a marriage hall in Kancheepuram between 4-30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Immediately, the Collector deputed a team of officials from Revenue, Social Welfare and police departments to verify the information.
The team went to the marriage hall near the Ulagalantha Perumal temple in Big Kancheepuram and collected details about the families involved in the marriage.
Subsequently, they went to the residences of the bride at Sheikpet on Friday where they found that the girl was barely 16 years old. After confirming the age of the bride, the team warned the bride’s family and as well as bridegroom and other families involved.
The families tried to convince officials that solemnizing the marriage of adolescent girls was not new in their community. However, the officials categorically told them that they would not allow the marriage to take place and they would be left with no option other than initiating penal action against the families if they went ahead.
This is the second child marriage that was prevented by the officials in the recent past. In April this year, the marriage of a girl was stopped by the officials after it was brought to the notice of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kancheepuram by a social activist.
In that case too, the organisers had rented a marriage hall at Wallajahbad and invited their relatives and friends to bless the couple.
Though that marriage was stopped by the officials, the social activist who brought it to the notice of the officials, received life threats from the bride’s family later as the officials had reportedly disclosed the source of information to the families which had arranged the marriage.