‘CM has allocated Rs. 750 crore for marriage assistance scheme this year’

Minister for Social Welfare and Nutritious Noon meal P. Valarmathi has appealed to the women in Perambalur district to avoid encouraging “child marriage” ( marriage of girls below 18 years of age. Perambalur district is known for child marriage and Collector Darez Ahamed has stopped as many as 170 child marriages in the past two years)

At a function organised here in connection with distribution of gold for thali on Saturday, she made an impassioned appeal to mothers not to consider their daughters a “burden” and “try to get them out of your houses at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Admitting that such a system did exist in the country in the olden days, she urged the mothers to realise what would happen to the future of the girls getting married at such an early age.

“If a girl were to be married off when she is 14 and if she were to deliver a child at 15, studies have proved that she would develop anaemia. Besides, what would she know at the age of 14 and 15?” “By marrying off your daughter pretty early, you are going to have a serious burden on your hands. Can’t you wait for just a few more years,” she asked. She urged the mothers not to encourage such a pernicious practice, irrespective of the religion, she added.

The Minister said that the Chief Minister had allocated Rs. 750 crore for the marriage assistance scheme this year. The gold for mangalyam scheme benefited 1,110 girls in Perambalur district last year and this year it had benefited 513 girls.

Collector Darez Ahamed, who presided, said that as much as Rs. 9.5 crore has been allotted for constructing new buildings including for anganwadis and noon meal centres under the Social Welfare Department. Besides, substantial allocation has been made for repairs, especially of noon meal centres.

Referring to the special scheme granted to the district for supplementing nutrition, he said it would be implemented as soon as the schools reopened.

Adverting to the child marriage in the district, he said of the 170 girls whose “child marriage” was stopped, most of the girls had now been helped pursue their studies, including higher education.

Referring to the vast improvement in sex ratio in the district, he said the situation had so much improved that there were 1,006 live births of girl children against 1,000 boys.

‘This has been made possible because of the efforts of the officials and doctors in the past one and a half years,” he added.

The Collector requested the Minister to consider setting up a working women's hostel in Perambalur. Ilambai R.Tamilselvan, MLA, and C. Ramesh, chairman of Perambalur municipality, spoke.

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