Madurai

“33 child marriages stopped this year”

Collector L. Subramanian (second from left) addressing aChildline meeting in the city. Photo: S. James

Collector L. Subramanian (second from left) addressing aChildline meeting in the city. Photo: S. James   | Photo Credit: S_James

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Thirty-three child marriages had been stopped by the district administration and Childline till date this year, said Jim Jesudoss, chairman of Child Welfare Committee, here on Friday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting on child marriages, he said, “While this number is high compared to the 13 child marriages we stopped last year, it is a positive sign since there is a higher incidence of people reporting child marriages to us,” he said.

Officials from various departments, including the District Child Protection Unit and Department of Social Welfare, took part in the meeting.

Melur, Usilampatti, Tirumangalam and Peraiyur were some of the places where incidences of child marriage were rampant. “We are focussing on three areas — intervention, rehabilitation and prevention. Rehabilitation is given special attention since we are examining how to help the rescued girls continue their education or get skill-based training,” Mr. Jesudoss said.

Collector L. Subramanian said teachers and students of schools and colleges should be sensitised to the issue. “Many people are unaware of what to do when they hear of a child marriage in their neighbourhood. They should be encouraged to call ‘1098,’ the toll-free Childline number. Complaint boxes can be installed at schools,” he said.

Mr. Subramanian urged the officials to have informants and sources in villages so that they could alert them if a child marriage was about to take place. “We are striving for a zero-child marriage district. The issue will be taken up at gram sabha meetings to be held on January 26. We will sensitise the public to ills of marrying off minor girls and early pregnancies,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:29:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/33-child-marriages-stopped-this-year/article6690674.ece

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