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Be alert about child marriages on Akshay Tritiya: WCD to states

The states were selected on the basis of districts in the particular state showing higher incidence of child marriages as per an analysis of census data by the NCPCR

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Be alert about child marriages on Akshay Tritiya: WCD to states
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Women and Child Development (WCD) secretary Rakesh Srivastava has written to various states ahead of Akshaya Tritiya, directing the state authorities to be on the alert about child marriages that take place on the day as it is considered an auspicious day for marriages.

The states were selected on the basis of districts in the particular state showing higher incidence of child marriages as per an analysis of census data by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

In the letters sent out on April 10 to chief secretaries of several states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Srivastava said that awareness campaigns should be organised before the festival, that falls on April 18, to dissuade people.

"... suitable instructions be issued to the police authorities, District Collectors/District Magistrates, Sarpanches, etc., for appropriate action at the field level. The State Women's Commission, Civil Society Organisations may also suitably be involved in building awareness and taking other preventive steps," the letter, marked to chief secretaries of the states, said.

Calling child marriages 'a heinous social practice', the letter said that prevention "requires (not only) a change in mindset of the society but strict legal and other schematic interventions" .

A survey conducted by NCPCR with Young Lives, a child rights organisation, had studied the lives of over 7 million child grooms and 5 million child brides from across 70 districts with the highest incidences child marriages from the 2011 Census.

WHY THE DIRECTIVE

The directive comes as Akshay Tritiya is considered an auspicious day for marriage, thus having higher instances of child marriage

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