Staff Reporter

Administration takes serious view of event

TIRUPATI: The district administration has taken a serious view of the child marriages performed in Srikalahasti town every year and is planning to crack the whip on the offenders.

It has been an age-old practice to perform mass marriages in the vicinity of Srikalahasteeswara Devasthanam every year on the midnight of `Mahasivaratri'. A number of adolescent brides and grooms sneak into this programme and the nuptial is tied in large numbers.

Sarpanches

At a meeting of officials and public representatives held at Srikalahasti on Thursday, district Collector Shamsher Singh Rawat asked the Sarpanches and the village secretaries of Srikalahasti, Thottambedu, Yerpedu, Pichatur, B.N.Kandriga, KVB Puram and Nindra mandals to counsel the parents not to marry off their children below 21 years of age.

He directed them to educate the public on the constitutional and legal provisions against child marriages and also the serious health hazards involved in it.

Recalling the tight vigil maintained last year with the support of police and revenue machinery, Mr. Rawat asked the officials to take a cue and prevent child marriages this time, too. Project Director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Raghunandan Rao, presided.