AP to create awareness against child marriages

AP chief secretary Dr K.S. Jawahar Reddy on Wednesday said state government will soon launch campaigns and awareness programmes to control child marriages across Andhra Pradesh. Measures will be taken to identify girls who have dropped out of school because of marriage and bring them back to school.

Holding discussions with representatives of UNICEF at the secretariat in Velagapudi, the CS observed that it will not be possible to reduce the maternal mortality rate if child marriages are not controlled. Hence, the state government will give the highest priority to control child marriages.

Dr Jawahar Reddy pointed out that the government has already undertaken many programmes to promote girls' education and to control child marriages. As part of it, government junior colleges for girls have been made available at mandals.

He underlined the need to make available a special toll free number for lodging complaints in case child marriages are taking place anywhere. He underlined that marriage registrations must be made mandatory, as this will help control child marriages to an extent.

The chief secretary said a meeting will be held in two days with departments concerned at the state level for strictly implementing the guidelines related to control of child marriages.

Principal secretary (Women and Child Welfare) G. Jayalakshmi, Hyderabad UNICEF chief Dr. Zelalem Birhanu Taffesse, UNICEF development specialist Seema Kumar and child protection officer Muralikrishna were among those who attended the meeting.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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