Hyderabad: This summer has come as a curse to minor girls, many of whose parents get them married during the school vacation. As many as 15 girls aged between 13 and 17 years have been rescued from child marriages over the past 10 weeks.
While a majority of these cases were brought to the notice of the Child Helpline by friends of the girls, some instances were reported by the victims themselves. Four children, including a 20-year-old boy from Malakpet, were rescued from marriage in March, and another eight in April. The marriage of three children has been stopped so far in May. The child marriages were stopped in Golnaka, Amberpet, Old City, Rasoolpura, and Begumpet among other places.
Child Helpline officials said they had received several more alerts regarding marriages that are lined up to take place later this month. Most of these cases are of girls studying between Classes VIII and Class X.
Mostly immigrant families and financially weak parents living in slums were found guilty of marrying off their young chldren. The various explanations provided by most such parents to the Child Helpline include their economic background, a ‘good’ match, and the urgency to ‘rid themselves’ of the ‘burden’ that they consider their daughters to be.
An official from the Child Helpline said they were planning to send a legal injunction order — a court order that compels a party to refrain from specific acts — to all such families who have been marked on their radar. Their primary motive in doing this is to instill fear among such families and on a larger scale, the community, thereby discouraging child marriages.
Additionally, all families who were intercepted in time are being reported to the Child Welfare Committee for their judgement, while FIRs are being filed against those parents who managed to successfully get their minor children married against the law.