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Gujarat sees 21% jump in child marriages

AHMEDABAD: Counsellors of Abhayam 181 helpline gained a call at midnight that two couples in a position to tie the knot at a mass marriage in a village near Anand in April remaining 12 months have been minors.

When the team reached the spot they discovered the marriage revelry in complete swing and 9 couples from the same community set to marry.

When age-proof documents have been checked it was once found 14 of the 18 marriage applicants have been underage.

The 12 months 2018 saw a 21% bounce in reporting of kid marriages to the helpline. Against 143 marriages reported in 2017, the remaining 12 months reported 174 or three child marriages a week.

“We knowledgeable the district government in regards to the tip-off, after which teams with child protection officer and police also reached to the spot. All the 18 events — from bride and groom’s aspect — have been asked to furnish documents associated with age. At the tip of the scrutiny, it was once published that 14 of the contributors or seven couples have been beneath 18 years of age,” mentioned an Abhayam legit.

According to the helpline officers, the youngest marriages have been reported in Banaskantha district the place two women elderly five and 9 have been stored from being married and ceremonies stopped. The participating households claimed that the marriages have been taking place consistent with custom the place the girl is going to her husband’s house most effective after attaining adulthood.

Falguni Patel, a coordinator for the project, mentioned that there's extra awareness about the issue of kid marriage and that is getting reflected in more knowledge gained lately.

“While almost all the regions of Gujarat reported occurrence of kid marriage, a few communities function prominently the place unions at young age remains to be practised because of socio-economic causes,” Patel mentioned.

She added, “In a case near Palanpur, a minor woman was once getting married together with her grownup sister as the circle of relatives wanted to get both sisters married off in the same rite. The maximum common age team for the practice is 16 to 17 years the place the girls are a few months wanting 18 years of age,” mentioned a senior Abhayam legit, adding that formal lawsuits are seldom filed as the households most often conform to delay the rite until the bride and groom reach adulthood.

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