5 marriages stopped as minors alert officials
By S J Michael Collins | Published: 17th September 2013 07:50 AM |
Whether the series of awareness programmes against Child Marriages reaches the elders or not, the message seems to have reached schoolgirls, who are the ones affected by the social ill. Within a week, officials were able to stop as many as five child marriages after the brides-to-be made calls to either Child Line or to the police emergency number 100.
“We have been conducting a series of awareness programmes in schools in the recent past, as the school girls are victimised in the illegal marriages. We promote the Child Line toll free number 1098 and also tell the students to contact the police emergency number 100 if they are unable not reach Child line, and it has worked out well,” Child Line Coordinator A Albert Manoharan told Express.
On September 13, a 15-year-old girl, who has been pursuing her plus one in Sengattupatti Government Higher Secondary school in Thuraiyur, contacted Child Line 1098 asking the officials to stop her wedding on Septe 15 at Thittakudi in Perambalur district to one Kannan from Kunnam in Perambalur.
The officials swung into action, rushed to Thittakudi and held talks with the girl’s parents and rescued her on the same day. The girl had scored 437 out of 500 marks in her SSLC and wanted to pursue her higher studies. The girl, who contacted the Child Line told them she was unable not convince her parents-who were agricultural coolies- against the wedding. The officials, with the support of police, rescued the girl.
Similarly, a girl who completed standard nine and aged 15 contacted Child Line to stop her marriage with her maternal uncle on September 15 at EB road in Tiruchy city. The girl’s education was stopped one month after the current academic year commenced. Despite her interest in studies, the parents had stopped her education and were forcing her to marry her uncle who works in Bangalore. She was rescued on September 13 with the help of Fort police.
A 13-year-old girl from Lalgudi was to be married on September 15 at Ariyalur to one of her relatives, Suresh Kumar. She was threatened by her parents and the groom for being against the marriage. The girl then contacted police emergency number 100, following which Dalmiapuram police, along with the help of District Social Welfare Officer and the Child line members, rescued the girl. The marriage of a 16-year-old at Thuraiyur, fixed for September 8, was also stopped by the officials after the girl contacted the district social welfare office.
Her wedding was fixed with her relative. The District Social Welfare officials along with those from Child Line and Child Welfare Committee rescued the girl on September 7.
Meanwhile, a wedding of a 17-year-old girl and 19-year-old boy took place on Monday morning at Panchapur. The Child Welfare Committee had received information that a marriage involving minors was to take place, an official team rushed to the spot by which time the couple were married. The two were brought to the police station, and officials are preparing for a court injunction to declare the marriage null and void.