Superstitious beliefs root cause of child marriage: child rights panel member

Child marriage is detrimental, it hinders the intellectual growth of female children, said Vanitha Thorvi, a member of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

She was speaking at a massive awareness campaign against child marriage organised by the district administration in association with zilla panchayat and Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. She said child marriage is a social evil and in order to discourage the practice, the Commission has taken up a massive drive against child marriage for next six months.

High on list
Karnataka is the third state in the country that has the largest number of child marriages. It is at an alarming situation and immediate measures should be taken to create awareness, she opined. Although the country is in the race for most of the developing aspects, has failed to eliminate the social evil, which is still haunting the country.

She said that superstitious beliefs are the root cause of the problem. She said stringent action is taken against the people who are involved in child marriages.

She said that it is heartening to observe that the Udupi district has taken up new campaign in the form of making 2,800 schools tobacco-free and child-friendly schools. She lamented that children are increasingly, unknowingly becoming addicted to the technology, which deviates them from learning. She said 68% of young children are addicted to Facebook, WhatsApp and such other online platforms.

Speaking after inaugurating the programme, the Legal Services Authority member secretary justice Latha said Prohibition of Child marriage Act 2006 involves the punishment for solemnising a child marriage for whoever performs, conducts or directs or abets any child marriage. The guilty is punishable with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.

‘Don’t burden children’
She said that lack of education and poverty is the main cause behind increasing number of child marriages. She added that the parents should understand that childhood is unique and should not suppress it among girls. Children should not be burdened with the responsibilities of marriage. The nation will grow only when children are educated. She said teachers also play major roles in the direction of curbing the child marriages.

Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer Priyanka Mary Francis said that girls should oppose marriages unless and until they are self-reliant. The government offer free and subsidised education and girls should make use of it. She urged them to be the crusaders of the change by awakening themselves and spreading across the messages of awareness against child marriages.

District Health Officer Dr Rohini said child marriage badly affects the child’s physical as well as intellectual growth. The baby born out of the wedlock has higher chances of disability. Besides, the mother will be anemic. Child marriage is a major factor responsible for increasing infant mortality, she added.
DH News Service

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)