Yogi Adityanath government to launch offensive against child marriages in UP

According to a study, Uttar Pradesh tops the country in having the most married children (2.8 million), followed by Bihar and Rajasthan (with 1.6 million each) as per the 2011 census.
Despite being illegal, child marriage is still prevalent in many states including Uttar Pradesh.(HT File Photo)
Despite being illegal, child marriage is still prevalent in many states including Uttar Pradesh.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jun 25, 2017 12:43 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Allahabad | By

To free Uttar Pradesh from the scourge of child marriage, the Yogi Adityanath government has directed the police to liaison with local schools at block and district level to check child marriages in the state.

Besides launching awareness campaigns, involving meetings and rallies against the custom, the cops will remain in touch with school staff and act on their tip-offs.

Orders in this regard had been issued by the Yogi Adityanath-led state government which was determined to free the Hindi heartland state of child marriage, said a senior official of UP’s women welfare and child development department.

District magistrates and district police chiefs have been ordered by the principal secretary, women welfare and child development Renuka Kumar to strictly enforce provisions of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act-2006 and also extend support to the ongoing India’s Daughter campaign launched by the Study Hall Education Foundation, Lucknow across the state against the custom and practice of child marriages, the official said.

As per a study by an NGO, Uttar Pradesh tops the country in having the most married children (2.8 million), followed by Bihar and Rajasthan (with 1.6 million each) as per the 2011 census.

Uttar Pradesh, as per the 2011 census, has 2 million married girls in the age group of 10-19 years while the 2.8 million in total (boys and girls) are married in this age group, with the girls accounting for 71% of the total married people in this group.

The state also has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of children born to children: 1 million.

A UNICEF study points out that early marriage hinders educational achievements which in turn leads to poor maternal health and higher infant mortality rate. Child bearing at a young age is detrimental to the health of both the mother and the infant. This is why child marriage affects woman more than man, other than the fact that men are less likely to be married as children.

The UP government has urged the DMs and the SPs that through various initiatives, the thana level cops need to win over confidence of the locals including female teachers, religious leaders and members of the local community so that they receive timely information regarding child marriages and act as per law.

Renuka Kumar has also asked the district officials to organise meetings of ‘India’s Daughter Campaign’ in all schools and also make other district level officers like the basic shiksha adhikaris, district coordinators and others working with the children aware of the need to act against child marriages.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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