With the aim to end child marriage in India by 2030, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi organized a state consultation in Hyderabad.
The consultation held in collaboration with State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Panchayati Raj, Women and Child Development department, State Legal Service Authority (SLSA), and Telangana Residential Schools Management Association (TRSMA).
The consultation engaged and involved multiple stakeholders to intensify the fight against child marriage. The aim was to mobilise all stakeholders of child protection to move together and help in the realisation child marriage free Telangana under the larger vision of Child marriage free India.
This consultation is a result of clarion call given by Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi ji last year to end child marriage. It is the world’s largest grassroots movement against child marriage.
The key dignitaries present on this occasion included Srinivas Rao, Chairperson Telangana SCPCR; Bharati Hollikeri, Commissioner and Principal Secretary, WCD Department, Telangana; Smt. G Kalarchana, Secretary (Senior Civil Judge), City Civil Court Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad; Rama Rao, Deputy Commissioner Panchayati Raj and Rural Development; PV Padmaja, SP, Women Safety Wing, Telangana; Yadagiri Shekar Rao, State President, Telangana Residential Schools Management Association (TRSMA); Rajeev Bharadwaj, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, Sampurna Behura, Executive Director, India Child Protection Fund.
All the stakeholders deliberated through the consultation and created a roadmap to make Telangana Child Marriage free.
Dhananjay Tingal, Executive Director, BBA said, “When Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi gave the clarion call last year, the Nation saw an unprecedented and overwhelming response from the entire country. Over 76000 women and children in 7028 villages across the country took to streets to raise their voice against child marriage. This consultation is yet another step towards realising our collective dream to make India child marriage free by 2030. To fight and uproot child marriages completely, we need a multipronged and multidimensional strategy.
Through these consultations, we aim to bring together the various stake holders so that they can work in tandem to fight this crime. We will leave no stone unturned in our fight against this social evil and the participation as well as commitment shown by one and all only strengthens our determination and zeal.” The consultation is also supported by Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
Highlighting the adverse impact of child marriage on children and why we must act to stop the social evil, Sampurna Behura, Executive Director, ICPF, “Child marriage is not a standalone crime but coupled with other heinous offences under the law of the land such as child sexual abuse, child trafficking, domestic violence and mental abuse and is detrimental to a child’s physical, emotional, mental and social development.
It disempowers a child and leads to the deprivation of fundamental rights like – the right to life and personal liberty, including the Right to Education (RTE) and freedom of choice. A strong political will and enforcement of provisions of law will create deterrence, fix accountability and enable all stakeholders to tackle the issue of child marriage and to consider Child Marriage as child rape.
The issue of child marriage needs to be prioritized and should be looked as a crime against children. All stakeholders like government agencies and law enforcement agencies must make collective effort to stop the practice in the state.”
Srinivasarao, Chairperson, Telangana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said, “The National Child Rights Commission, plays a crucial role in making child marriage free India. Child marriage is a significant issue in India, with numerous Child Friendly Teams (CFTs) actively monitoring the situation.
However, resistance from within families, often fuelled by poverty and pressure to marry off relatives, persists. The fundamental problem lies in instilling the understanding that child marriage has severe consequences for girls and society as a whole. The urgency lies in raising awareness about the profound transformation a girl’s life undergoes when she becomes a mother. The burden of responsibilities, risks, and sacrifices she faces often goes unnoticed.
The National Commission for Women recognizes this and aims to raise awareness on a broader scale. We must take this issue seriously and work collectively to eradicate child marriage in Telangana State.”
Ms. Bharati Hollikeri, IAS, Commissioner and Special Secretary, WCD Department, Telangana, “I am happy to share that child marriages in Telangana has come down from 26.2% to 23.5% this year. We monitor village level child marriages through DCPO, child line staff and Anganwadi centres. We have established and strengthened one stop centre called – Bharosa which aims to promote girls to attain marriage after 18 years of their age.
Infact during the period of April 2022 to 2023, as per the NFHS data, the department has prevented 1754 child marriages. We are committed to achieve the sustainable development goal which indicates eradication of child marriage and support strategies that will help to curb this practice”
G Kalarchana, Secretary (Senior Civil Judge), City Civil Court, Legal Services Authority, Hyderabad highlighted on prohibition of child marriage act. She informed that 19 children were recently rescued from child marriage.
According to Census 2011 report, 51,57,863 girls in India and around 2.8 lakh children were married off before turning 18 in Telangana. This is a cause of grave concern and requires immediate action to protect young girls from the evil of child marriage. The National Family Health Survey-V (NFHS 2019-21) reports that nationally 23.3% women between the age group of 20-24 were married off before attaining the age of 18.
While, Telangana reported 23.5% of women in the same age group were married before the age of 18.
According to Census 2011 report, 51,57,863 girls in India and around 2.8 lakh children were married off before turning 18 in Telangana. This is a cause of grave concern and requires immediate action to protect young girls from the evil of child marriage. The National Family Health Survey-V (NFHS 2019-21) reports that nationally 23.3% women between the age group of 20-24 were married off before attaining the age of 18. While, Telangana reported 23.5% of women in the same age group were married before the age of 18. ■ #hydnews #khabarlive