Amid the child marriage crackdown in Assam, the Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation (KSCF), has sought financial aid and rehabilitation for the victims.
The foundation has welcomed the decisive action of the Assam government to eliminate and penalize child marriages in the state.
''The action by the state government is the first ever stringent step by any state government in the country to protect children by applying laws of the land in both letter and spirit. The state government must provide special financial assistance, legal support, and full rehabilitation to the victim,'' an official statement said.
''KSCF has appealed for a fresh scheme that will fully support the victims. The scheme entails; first, immediate release of Rs 2,000 per month from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as financial assistance to every girl whose husband has been arrested until he gets bail; secondly, State and District Legal Service Authority should be directed to grant interim compensation within a week to all girls where Police has invoked sections under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) along with a section of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006; thirdly, girls should be given assistance if they wish to declare their marriage null and void; and lastly, assistance should be given to children born out the child marriage who are entitled to support under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,'' it added.
Commending the strict action by the Assam government, Managing Director of KSCF, Rear Admiral Rahul Kumar Shrawat AVSM, Retd said, “Our organization appreciates and fully supports the strong action by the Assam government to eliminate and penalize child marriages in the state. The action by the state government is the first ever stringent step by any state government in the country to protect children. We also appeal that the state government looks at the human aspects involved in this situation. As young girls are victims of child marriage, we urge that the state government considers our proposal compassionately to provide immediate rehabilitation and compensation to the victims, to reduce their sufferings "
Besides these, the foundation has also extended assistance to the state government including spreading awareness in all districts, legal aid and rehabilitation of child victims, and support to children who have suffered sexual abuse and are victims under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
''The firm step by the Assam government is in line with the clarion call of Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who had launched the world’s biggest ever grassroots level nationwide campaign against child marriage on October 16, 2022. The nationwide campaign had witnessed the participation of 20 million people across the country and was led by over 75,000 women and children in over 10,000 villages,'' the statement added.
''Assam had remained one of our focus states during the campaign and it is a positive sign that the state government has initiated bold steps to penalize perpetrators of crimes against children within a few weeks after the nationwide campaign was launched,'' it added.
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