Government to hold national consultation on child marriages
Taking a serious view of child marriages in the country, the government has decided to hold a national consultation on the issue with the states.
A core group has been constituted by the women and child development ministry to organise the first national consultation this year to prevent child marriages, a ministry official said.
"National consultation will be held soon. A core group has already been constituted for holding the consultations," the official said.
The official said the ministry had been contacting states individually so far on the issue, but this time all states will be brought on the same level to get a more conclusive picture.
"The ministry has been writing to state governments time to time, we wrote to the states even before the recent Akshay Tritiya to make all efforts to stop child marriages," the official said.
Akshay tritiya, which fell on April 24 this year, is considered an auspicious day for marriages. Mass child marriages are also performed on the day in many states.
A recent Unicef report said 30 percent of adolescent girls (15 to 19 years) in India are married, and at least 22 percent became mothers before they attained adulthood. It said 53 percent of these adolescent brides have stated to accept the right of husband to physically hit or beat the wife as a matter of norm.
"A lot of child marriages have been prevented by active participation of the states, but we need to inculcate a resistance to child marriages in the society... Government alone cannot stop social evils," the official added.