MADURAI: While in other parts of the State parents are busy searching for better schools to ensure quality education for their wards after passing SSLC, the scene in Southern districts is much different as there has been spurt in the number of minor marriages, which are keeping the social welfare officials on their toes.
The district social welfare officials in coordination with the ChildLine volunteers have stopped over 25 minor marriages in Madurai, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts within a fortnight of the SSLC results coming out.
According to sources, most of the parents were scampering to marry off their teenage daughters fearing elopement with lovers. Recently, a girl from Periyar Taluk in Madurai district, who had passed class X this year, called up Collector L Subramanian seeking his intervention to stop her marriage, a government official said.
F Stephen, coordinator of Child Line in Madurai, said, “Ever since the announcement of class 10 results, we have received over 10 calls about minor marriages.”
In another incident in Teppakulam, Child Line volunteers stopped the marriage of a minor girl after her lover alerted the officials. “During the inquiry, we found that the parents were attempting to marry off the girl to a 35-year-old relative. After our intervention, the police obtained a written statement assuring that the parents won’t marry the girl till she attains the age prescribed under the law. However, the parents got her married secretly a day later,” he said.
But, the girl managed to escape from the house and contacted the Child Line over phone. “We rescued the girl and produced her before the CWC. We also made arrangements for her to studies,” he added.