Belagavi: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has coined a new slogan, 'Beti padao Beti bachao', to promote literacy among girl children, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's home district, Mysuru stands eighth in reporting child marriage cases in the last three years.
Despite the state government's claims on eliminating this social evil by announcing various measures, the number of child marriages are increasing since 2013.
While 516 child marriages were reported in 2013-14, it shot up to 852 cases in 2014-15 and further increased to 874 cases in 2015-16. After the Siddaramaiah government came to power, 2,242 cases have been reported in the last three years, according to information furnished by the government.
Among 30 districts, Belagavi tops the list with 199 cases since 2013, Tumakuru has recorded 171, Vijayapura 170, followed by Davangere 148 cases, Chikballapur 146, Koppal 131 and Mysuru 123 cases.
Incidentally, Bagalkot-the district represented by Women and Child Welfare Minister Umashree too has recorded 63 cases.
The government had admitted to a steady rise in child marriage cases in spite of making provisions to send the offenders to jail.
Poverty, illiteracy, social belief, lack of awareness on impact of child marriage, protection of property among family members, reducing responsibility, wrong notion of huge spending, fulfilling wishes of old aged and patients and wrong notion of less dowry were some factors responsible for the increase in child marriages.
As part of social awareness, the government is holding campaigns in schools and involving various departments to do away with this social evil.
Details of districts with number of child marriages in the last three years: Bengaluru Rural-25, Ramanagara-68, Bengaluru Rural-24, Ballari-95, Bidar-28, Chamarajanagar-19, Chikkamagalur-6, Chitradurga-80, Dakshina Kannada-59, Dharwad-49, Gadag-36, Kalaburagi-6, Yadgir-86, Hassan-39, Haveri-113, Kodagu-38, Kolar-30, Chikballapur-146, Koppal-131, Mandya-71, Raichur-87, Shivamogga-75, Udupi-9 and Uttara Kannada 48....