Child marriages continue in Prakasam district

Joint effort: Religious leaders taking a vow to contribute their mite to end child marriages in Ongole.

Joint effort: Religious leaders taking a vow to contribute their mite to end child marriages in Ongole.  

To escape detection, families avoid huge gatherings when such weddings are solemnised

A new way to hoodwink officials and activists and perform child marriages, which are rampant in Prakasam district, has come to light. Parents avoid huge gatherings when such marriages are solemnised as the authorities have tightened the regulations to curb the evil social practice.

Avoiding pomp, the families and close relatives of the child bride and groom performed the wedding at the dead of night and gathered for a community lunch after the knot was tied, a group of religious leaders told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.

In some cases, the parents distributed money among relatives and friends for feast at their homes so that they were not caught on the wrong foot by the authorities, they said on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the the Childline India Foundation Partner HELP in collaboration with the District Legal Services Authority for capacity building of religious and traditional leaders here on Monday.

Verifying the age

“We make it a point to verify the Aadhaar and the ration cards, the SSC certificate before deciding on the auspicious date for marriage. If it comes to our notice even hours before the marriage, we don’t preside over the wedding”, said Trinatha Chakravarthi, a priest at the Chennakesava Swamy temple here.

“On three Sundays prior to wedding, we call for any objections from the assembled gathering and stop the marriage if it involves a child bride,” said Pedaraveedu Pastors Union president Rev. B. Sundaraiah of the Andhra Baptist Association Church at Sunkesula in Peddaraveedu mandal. “We take all precautions to curb child marriages and discuss issues after Friday prayers,” said Sk. Rahim Khan, president, Imams Association.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 2:32:39 AM |

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