Bachpan Bachao Andolan holds consultation to fight child marriages in Andhra Pradesh

BBA Executive Director Dhananjay Tingal said, “Last year, over 76,000 women in 7,028 villages across the country took to streets to raise their voices against child marriages in just one single day.
(Express Illustrations)
(Express Illustrations)

VIJAYAWADA: Aiming to end child marriages in India by 2030, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) organised a state consultation in collaboration with Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (APSLSA), Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (APSCPCR) and Crime Investigation Department (CID).

The consultation engaged and involved multiple stakeholders to intensify the fight against child marriages.
The aim was to mobilise all stakeholders of child protection to move together and help in the realisation of child marriage-free Andhra Pradesh under the larger vision of Child marriage-free India.

BBA Executive Director Dhananjay Tingal said, “Last year, over 76,000 women in 7,028 villages across the country took to the streets to raise their voices against child marriages in just one single day. This consultation will be held in 20 states and is yet another step towards realising our collective dream to make India child marriage-free by 2030. To fight and uproot child marriages completely, we need a multi-pronged and multi-dimensional strategy. Through these consultations, we aim to bring together the various stakeholders so that they can work in tandem to fight this crime.”

Calling to make AP a state with zero child marriages by 2025, APSCPCR chairperson Kesali Appa Rao said that while officers have been striving hard towards this goal for a long time now, child marriages are still prevalent.

Women Development & Child Welfare Department commissioner M Janaki gave insights on various challenges that come in the way when dealing with the issue of child marriage and acknowledged the urgency to implement ideas to combat child marriages. Member Secretary of SLSA M Babitha gave a call to comprehend the grassroots causes for child marriages and work on those specific issues.

“From ensuring that the message reaches every nook and corner of every village to informing all the people about the legal consequences and the effective implementation of the AP Compulsory Marriages Registration Act, 2022 are all important steps to eradicate child marriage from the state,” she added. Several important dignitaries also participated in the discussions.

3.65 lakh children married off before turning 18 in AP

According to the Census 2011 report, around 3.65 lakh children were married off before turning 18 in Andhra Pradesh and this number stands at 51,57,863 girls in India. The National Family Health Survey-V (NFHS 2019-21) reports that 29.3 per cent of women between the age group of 20 and 24 were married off before attaining the age of 18 in AP

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