The state government has decided to conduct a child marriage prevention campaign throughout the year with an objective of putting an effective check on underage marriage.
Information on the campaign has been forwarded to all district collectors with directives to chalk out a local level action plan and carry out the work throughout the year. They have been asked to seek help of nongovernmental organisations (NGO), government and private institutions and officers.
The directorate of women’s empowerment has chalked out an action plan under which a core group will be constituted at local government level. The core group will include sarpanchs of local gram panchayat, corporators, school principals, maximum two representatives of NGOs, representatives of religions including mukhiya, pandit, maulvi, priests of church, granthi of gurudwara, health workers, and distinguished persons of the village concerned. The core group will keep a watch over and prevent child marriage in their village. As normally woman intermediaries fix marriages in villages, they are also to be included in the core group.
On getting information about child marriage, it will be prevented by counselling the parents. Special attention will be paid during major events such as Akshaya Tritiya, Basant Panchami and Dev Uthhni Gyaras. The state government has also appealed to people that if they have information about any child marriage planned in and around their localities, they should immediately intimate the nearest police station, district collector or women’s empowerment officer.