Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation’s ‘Child marriage Free India’ campaign from Oct 16 

Beginning to be made with 50K women in 10K villages of country

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 06:41 PM IST
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Executive Director, KSCF, Rakesh Senger speaking at state-level consultation on the campaign in the city on Tuesday. |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation (KSCF) has decided to launch “Child Marriage Free India” campaign in the state from October 16.   

Executive Director, KSCF, Rakesh Senger told the Free Press on the sidelines of a state-level consultation on the campaign in the city on Tuesday that, “Initially, we will be working in 10,000 villages in association with 50,000 women. In Madhya Pradesh, we will be launching the campaign in around 2,500 villages,” he said, adding that “women, holding torches, earthen lamps or candles in their hand, will take a pledge not to allow child marriages to take place.”     

He said in India around 23% women in the age group of 20-24 years were married off before their 18th birthday. “Our objective is bring down the incidence of child marriage to 10% over a period of the next three years,” Senger said. However, the campaign will continue till elimination of the practice.  He said that child marriage is more prevalent among the Dalit, Adivasi and OBC communities, as compared with the others.  

The campaign is being co-organised by the KSCF and the State Department of Woman and Child Development.  Senger said that child marriage is a crime against children and all stakeholders like the governments and law enforcement agencies must make collective effort to stop this evil practice.  

The key points discussed at state-level consultation included appointment of Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPO), mandatory FIR registration in cases of child marriage and incentivisation of parents to motivate them not to marry off their under-age children. 

Those present on the occasion included joint director, WCD, Suresh Tomar, chief editor, Rojgar Evam Nirman Madhyam, Pushpendra Pal Singh, DCP-Headquarters, Vineet Kapoor, Bal Sarpanch, Bal Mitra Gram, Aurangpur, Vidisha, Malti Sahariya, Bal Sarpanch, Bal Mitra Gram, Rajni Ahirwar and Rakesh Senger, executive director, KSCF. 

Terming child marriage as a complex issue, joint director, WCD, Suresh Tomar said, “Child marriage is looked as part of the social custom and that makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to tackle the issue.”

MP 6th in child marriages   

Madhya Pradesh is at the 6th position in the country in terms of child marriages.  The  state is home to almost seven per cent of married children in the country. However, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data suggests that only 13 cases were registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) during 2019-21, which means there is gross under-reporting of the child marriages in the state.

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