The district administration has stopped 71 child marriages in 2021 and has initiated legal action against 65 weddings that were solemnised, District Collector Shreya P. Singh said.
Ms. Singh said that legal action would be taken against those who arrange the weddings of men below 21 years of age and women below 18 years of age under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. The offence could lead to two years of imprisonment and a fine of ₹ 1 lakh, the Collector said.
Ms. Singh advised students, school teachers to alert officials through Childline 1098 and women helpline number 181 if they come to know of any child marriage. She urged anganwadi workers, village health nurses, village administrative officers, panchayat secretaries to conduct necessary awareness campaigns against child marriages in their respective regions.
According to the officials, between January and December 2021, a total of 136 distress calls were made to helpline numbers ‘181’ and ‘1098’.