Call to avoid early marriage for girls

VELLORE, MARCH 11. The Vellore Collector, S. Gopalakrishnan, has appealed to parents to avoid marrying their daughters at an early age.

Speaking at an International Women's Day celebrations, organised jointly by the Field Publicity Office, Women Organisation for Rural Development (WORD), Vellore, and the Office of the Deputy Director of Health Services, Vellore, at Anaicut recently, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said marriage at the age of 14 or 15 years, resulting in pregnancies at the age of 17 or 18, was one of the cause of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Besides, education of girls was affected. He advised parents, especially in rural areas, to educate their daughters at least up to the Plus-Two level before marrying them.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan appealed to rural women to ensure that all deliveries took place in hospital for safe childbirth.

Though the maternal mortality rate in Vellore district was low, one could not be complacent. Steps should be taken to totally eliminate it.

A. Somasundaram, Deputy Director of Health Services, Vellore, urged pregnant women in villages to register their names with village health nurse to avail themselves of medical advice and monitoring during their pregnancy and delivery.

Saroja Thiruvengadam, District Social Welfare Officer, appealed to women to consult a doctor at an early stage of any illness.

T. Sivakumar, Field Publicity Officer, said women were denied health rights such as the right to decide their age of marriage, the age of conception and the number of children they could have.