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Assam intensifying efforts to eradicate child marriage: ASCPCR chairperson

Assam intensifying efforts to eradicate child marriage: ASCPCR chairperson

The Assam government, recognised for its proactive stance against child marriage, is intensifying efforts to combat this social issue, according to the chairperson of the Assam State Committee for Protection of Child Rights.

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Assam has grappled with gender discrimination concerning the rights and education of the girl child, presenting numerous challenges, including the issue of child marriage, said Shyamal Prasad Saikia, chairperson of the Assam State Committee for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR).

"In societies plagued by illiteracy, poverty, and gender bias, the persistence of child marriage remains a significant challenge," said Saikia on Tuesday during a state-level consultation organised by ASCPCR to strategise the eradication of child marriage.

Saikia emphasised the importance of monitoring agencies such as ASCPCR in overseeing the implementation of various laws and schemes aimed at combating child marriages by the relevant agencies.

The Assam government, recognised for its proactive stance against child marriage, is intensifying efforts to combat this social issue, according to Saikia.
    
ASCPCR, in collaboration with Child Marriage Free India and supported by its coalition partner Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) organised the consultation to discuss strategies to make Assam free from child marriage by 2030.

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Dhananjay Tingal, executive director of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, praised the Assam government's commitment and described it as a role model for the nation.
    
He lauded the state's allocation of a budget of Rs 200 crore to make Assam free from child marriage, along with provisions for the rehabilitation of victims.
    
Tingal emphasised the importance of effective utilisation of allocated funds towards eradicating child marriages and commended the state government's crackdown and legal actions against perpetrators.
    
Rishi Kant, executive director of Kosi Lok Manch, applauded the Assam government's dedication to reaching even the most remote areas to protect children's rights, describing it as commendable.
    
He highlighted the government's decision to provide admission incentives to girl students joining Class 11, graduation, and postgraduation as a significant step towards ensuring education for all children and consequently ending child marriage.
    
The last National Family Health Survey V (NFHS 2019-21) indicated a decline in child marriage prevalence in Assam since early 2023.
    
Preeti Lekha Deka, deputy secretary of the state women and child development department, emphasised the need for collective efforts in areas such as reintegration of girl victims into the community and empowering them with relevant skills.
    
In a bid to curb child marriage, the Assam government launched a two-phase drive against child marriage last year, resulting in numerous arrests and case registrations.
    
In the first phase in February last year, 3,483 people were arrested, and 4,515 cases were registered, followed by 915 arrests and 710 cases in the second phase in October.

Edited By: Atiqul Habib
Published On: Feb 21, 2024