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Rajasthan goes full steam ahead to check child marriages

JAIPUR, April 17, 2015, DHNS: 1:38 IST
The Rajasthan government’s drive to check child marriages is getting mass support with several business associations and community leaders coming up to announce new initiatives to eradicate this social evil.

The Tent and Catering Association of Rajasthan has announced that none of the dealers and retailers in Rajasthan will provide their services on Akshaya Tritiya (April 21) without scanning the birth certificate of bride and groom. Similarly, leaders of the Brahmin community have also started a campaign to convince local pundits in 14 districts of Rajasthan to discourage child marriage in their areas.

“We have taken a joint decision that no caterer or the tent dealer in Rajasthan will provide his services on Akshaya Tritiya without verifying the birth certificate of bride and groom. If any dealer and retailer is found guilty, he will be expelled from association,” said Ram Karan Bansal, president of the association.

A similar initiative has been taken by the Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha which has appealed to all the pundits to boycott solemnising child marriages. “We are focusing on 14 districts of Rajasthan where child marriages are held prominently. We have appealed all the pundits of community not to solemnise any child marriage. Our office bearers and community workers are in touch with local pundits. Around 250 pundits have given assurance in this regard,” said Suresh Mishra, president.

The state home department has also written to all district collectors following which all pundits and caterers in the state have been asked to inform district administration in case they come across any child marriage in their towns.

Child marriages are rampant in the state, especially on the occasion of Akha Teej or Akshaya Tritiya. As per tradition, this day is considered auspicious for weddings.

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