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Gujarat sees 21% jump in reporting of child marriages

AHMEDABAD: Counsellors of Abhayam 181 helpline gained a call at the hours of darkness that two couples in a position to tie the knot at a mass marriage in a village near Anand in April ultimate year had been minors.

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

When age-proof paperwork had been checked it was once discovered 14 of the 18 marriage applicants had been underage.

The year 2018 saw a 21% bounce in reporting of child marriages to the helpline. Against 143 marriages reported in 2017, the ultimate year reported 174 or 3 child marriages a week.

“We knowledgeable the district authorities concerning the tip-off, after which groups with child coverage officer and police also reached to the spot. All the 18 events — from bride and groom’s facet — had been requested to furnish paperwork related to age. At the end of the scrutiny, it was once printed that 14 of the contributors or seven couples had been under 18 years of age,” mentioned an Abhayam professional.

According to the helpline officers, the youngest marriages had been reported in Banaskantha district where two ladies elderly 5 and nine had been stored from being married and ceremonies stopped. The taking part households claimed that the marriages had been going down consistent with customized where the woman is going to her husband’s home most effective after reaching adulthood.

Falguni Patel, a coordinator for the challenge, mentioned that there's more consciousness about the issue of child marriage and that is getting mirrored in additional knowledge gained in recent times.

“While virtually the entire regions of Gujarat reported incidence of child marriage, a couple of communities function prominently where unions at younger age is still practised because of socio-economic causes,” Patel mentioned.

She added, “In a case near Palanpur, a minor girl was once getting married at the side of her adult sister as the circle of relatives wanted to get each sisters married off in the same ceremony. The most commonplace age team for the observe is 16 to 17 years where the girls are a couple of months wanting 18 years of age,” mentioned a senior Abhayam professional, including that formal proceedings are seldom filed as the households typically agree to delay the ceremony until the bride and groom attain adulthood.

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