A 14-year-old girl was scheduled to be married at 3 am on Sunday. (Representational Image: PTI)
WARANGAL: Officers of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), revenue, police and Child Line stopped a child marriage in Talla Kunta tanda under Wardhannapeta mandal of Warangal Rural district Saturday night.
A 14-year-old girl was scheduled to be married at 3 am on Sunday. Upon knowing about the arrival of the officials, the wedding party fled the spot, without leaving any trace. The officials who were acting on verified information were able to get hold of some evidence.
District child welfare officer G Mahender Reddy said the priest who was going to perform the wedding was located and was asked not to approve such weddings as even the priests are subject to punishment.
"Four child marriages were scheduled to be held this week and we were successful in speaking to the families and postponing the weddings until the bride and groom attain the legal marriageable age. In December we stopped 15 such marriages with seven of them in Wardhannapet and Raiparthy mandals. Parents are getting their minor wards married off due to ignorance, social commitments and illiteracy as children are now staying at home due to coronavirus," Reddy said.
Some more child marriage cases were reported from Warangal rural and Mahbubad and prevented in time by ICPS officials.
Erstwhile Warangal district Child Welfare Committee chairperson, Mandala Parashuramulu said the blame should go to priests who conduct weddings for money. He warned that according to the Child Marriages Prohibition Act, 2006, whoever is involved in child marriages, including priests, will be liable for legal action.
More than 80 child marriages have been stopped by officials in December and so far in January.
Warangal Rural 16
Jayashankar Bhupalapally 11
Warangal Urban 5