Hyderabad: In a bid to stop child marriages and create awareness on the perils of the same, Rachakonda Police' 'SHE' teams have come up with several awareness programmes to prevent the practice of child marriages in the rural areas.
The 'SHE' teams have stopped 69 child marriages and rescued 69 minor girls from child marriages so far.
According to Mahesh Bhagwat, Commissioner of Police (CP), Rachakonda, "Rachakonda Police identified that the child marriages are more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas and noticed that there is a need to bring awareness about the laws of the prohibition of such practices in the rural areas."
"In view of this, the Rachakonda Police have come up with several awareness programmes to inform people about the harmful consequences of child marriage and prevent such practices in the remote district areas. Under the Child Marriage Prohibition Act of 2006, child marriage is a punishable offence with a minimum of two years imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh fine and even the mediators too are responsible for this," said Bhagwat.
He further stated that the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys are 18 years and 21 years respectively. Due to early marriage, chances of maternal deaths are high. As per the Right to Education Act 2010 and the Supreme Court's 2009 order, it becomes compulsory for the boys and girls below the age of 18 years to attend the school.
"In these awareness programs, the 'SHE' Teams Rachakonda have appealed to the public to understand the problems of child marriages and help in the prevention of child marriages alarming in rural areas," said Bhagwat.
Furthermore, Bhagwat mentioned about one of the cases where Rachakonda Police stopped a child marriage in Uppal area and gave counselling to the parents of the minor girl.
"On 30 November 2019 Malkajgiri SHE Team had received information about one child marriage to be performed in Uppal area. A 17-year-old minor girl's marriage was fixed with one 25-year-old man, and the marriage was scheduled to take place on 21 December 2019," said Bhagwat.
"Based on that information, Malkajgiri SHE team went there and gave counselling to both parents along with the local police and Child welfare committee members and explained about the problems regarding child marriages, its effects and also informed them that child marriage is a crime. Team succeeded in stopping the child marriage and rescued the minor girl from child marriage," he added.