Scheme that pays for wedding of poor girls stops child marriages

Officials prevented 24 child marriages in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad: Shaadi Mubarak and Kalyana Laxmi, the two schemes under which the state pays for marriage of women from poor families from the minorities and weaker sections, has yielded an unexpected benefit. It has helped officials prevent child marriages. Officials prevented 24 child marriages in Hyderabad, and Ranga Reddy childline has stopped over 150 in 14 months. Both schemes pay Rs 51,000 towards the marriage of women, Shaadi Mubarak is meant for minorities and Kalyana Laxmi for the SC and ST community, Hyderabad Child Prote-ction Officer Imtyaz Ali said the then collector Nirmala had directed officials handling the two schemes to forward all the applications to the women and child welfare department to verify the age of the brides and grooms. The model was copied by officials of all districts.

“We identified four cases after verifying applications last year and three this year,” he said. He said most parents were not interested in registering the marriage with the registrar of marriages. “If the marriage registration is strictly implemented, we can stop child marriages,” he said. RR district officials received 2,997 applications for both the schemes last year of which 180 were rejected. From among those rejected, the brides were found to be underaged in 100 cases. About 50 more child marriages were prevented by officials after receiving information from the childline toll free number.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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