DEHRADUN: With an aim to end child marriage in India by 2030, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, organised a state consultation in collaboration with the Home Department of the Uttarakhand government.
Underlining the importance of collective efforts of all stakeholders to combat child marriage and at the same time emphasising that education is a major tool to help completely eradicate child marriage, state Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Radha Raturi said, "To ensure that child marriage is effectively fought and combated, we need to create a collective action plan and we also need to work with vulnerable children to ensure that no injustice is done with them".
On this occasion, all the stakeholders deliberated through discussions and made a roadmap to make Uttarakhand child marriage free.
"Last year, over 76000 women in 7028 villages across the country took to the streets to raise their voice against child marriage in just one day", said Dhananjay Tingal, executive director of BBA, adding that "to fight and completely eradicate child marriage, we need a multi-pronged and multi-pronged strategy".State Additional Chief Secretary Radha Raturi also signed an oath to join the campaign for child marriage-free Uttarakhand. (Photo | Express)
Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar discussed various challenges in the way of tackling the issue of child marriage and acknowledged the urgency of implementing ideas to tackle child marriage. "It is ironic that when we are fighting this social evil, child marriage is socially accepted in the society, while it is morally and legally wrong," DGP Ashok Kumar said.
Stressing the need for a united approach to fighting child marriage, Prashant Arya, Additional Secretary, Women Empowerment and Child Development, said, "Child marriage has deep roots in our society on one hand, but at the same time we have to make everyone aware that this social evil affects children, it destroys not only their childhood but their entire life".
According to the 2011 census, there are 51,57,863 girls in India and of these, around 54,858 were married before the age of 18 in Uttarakhand. This is a cause of serious concern and requires urgent 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% of women in the 20-24 age group were married before attaining the age of 18. Whereas, Uttarakhand reported that 9.8% of women in the same age group were married before the age of 18.