The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Prevention of Child Marriage Bill, 2004 by voice vote after the Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury pointed out that the girl child has become an “endangered species” and we are in a state akin to “emergency”.
Replying to a debate on the Bill, she said “We must introspect into our own conscience on the atrocities committed on girls.” She said in the last 20 years one crore girls had been killed. She lamented the fact that over 6 per cent of girls were married before 18 in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The Parliament also passed a bill empowering the Women and Child Development Ministry to constitute a Commission for Child Rights. The Commission for Protection of Child Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2006 that was earlier approved by the Lok Sabha was passed in the Rajya Sabha without discussion.
Replying to the debate on the Prevention of Child Marriage Bill, 2004, Chowdhury said the government was soon going to come up with the “Palna” scheme to curb female infanticide which will urge people not to “kill girl child” as government would take care of her.