National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notices to Uttar Pradesh government and Maharajganj district authorities over alleged rampant child marriages and low female literacy rate in the district.
The Commission issued these notices after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report which claimed that the district is one of the most undesired places for girls to live in as 73.6 per cent of females here are married before the age of 18 and the female literacy rate is merely 28 per cent.
The report also said one can find a child bride in almost every second home in various villages in the district and, particularly, in Pahuni village and adjoining areas near Indo-Nepal border, an NHRC statement said today.
Notices in this matter have been issued to the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh and District Magistrate, Maharajganj asking them to submit reports in the matter within six weeks, the statement said.
The rights panel has also directed the authorities to conduct a survey in at least 8-10 villages near Indo-Nepal border in the district to find out whether the allegations of child brides made in the report were true and inform the NHRC about steps taken by the administration to prevent child marriages and empower the marginalised sections, especially women.
The Commission observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of empowerment of the marginalised section of the society, especially women in Maharajganj district.