‘Create awareness on ill-effects of child marriage’

‘Create awareness on ill-effects of child marriage’

Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil speaks on various laws related to child marriage at an interactive session for judges, public prosecutors and child marriage prevention officers in Mangaluru on Tuesday.

The evil of child marriage has not been wiped out even in Dakshina Kannada, considered a progressive district, said Women and Child Development Department Deputy Director Sundar Poojary.

“No case of child marriage was reported till August 2018 and the officers thwarted five cases last year,” he added.

Poojary was speaking at an interaction on Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka Amendment) Act, 2016, Prohibition of Child Marriage Karnataka Rules 2014, for judges, public prosecutors and child marriage prevention officers on Tuesday.

“There are attempts at child marriages in villages. To check the social evil, district, taluk and village-level committees have been formed. Training has been imparted to the committee members. Awareness is being created among citizens on the ill-effects of child marriage,” explained Poojary.

Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil said officers should be sensitive while handling cases of child marriage. No family should be inconvenienced.

“Not many child marriage cases are registered in Dakshina Kannada, but are still prevalent in North Karnataka. I had encountered issues related to child marriages when I was deputy commissioner of Raichur,” he reminisced.

District and Sessions Judge Kadloor Sathyanarayanacharya said, “Poverty is not the only reason for child marriage. Such incidents are prevalent among the richer families as well. It is a social evil in the North Karnataka region.”

The judge explained, “There are instances of marrying off the girl children after their Class 7 – many a time, children are not sent to school after Class 7. As a result, the girls remain at home while their parents work in fields from dawn to dusk. The children at home unknowingly become victims of sexual assault. To prevent such incidents, their parents get them married off at an early age."

He added that child marriages are prevalent more among Muslim communities. Many a time, the incidents do not come to light.

“Officials from the Women and Child Development Department and the police should work in coordination to create awareness among the masses about the evils of child marriage,” he advised.