‘71% of those married in Uttar Pradesh are minor girls’
Jan 23, 2017, 06.10 AM IST
LUCKNOW: Two million girls in Uttar Pradesh (UP) are married in the age group of 10-19 years, forming 71% of the total married people in this age group in the state. UP has also the highest number of children born to children that stands at one million.
Part of the research base of Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI) from 2015, the facts were raised in Lucknow on Friday as part of a colloquium organized on ‘Accelerated Action for Prevention of Child Marriage in UP’ to facilitate dialogue between commissions, government officials, academicians, law enforcers and human rights defender, working on the cause.
Coming together for a holistic approach to address the issue, AALI, UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (UPSCPCR), UP Mahila Samman Prakosht and UNICEF proposed the role of society, policing, education, better parenting and spreading legal awareness as the steps ahead.
“People at the grassroots are not even aware that child marriage is a punishable offence,” said Gurdip Singh, vice-chancellor, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, where the colloquium was taking place.
Talking about the role of education and need for both social and sensitive policing, DG, UP Mahila Samman Prakosht, Sutapa Sanyal said, “At places where education is high in percentage, the percentage of child births is low. We should also change the patriarchal perspective and act upon the steps immediately,” she said.
Stating the alarming figures from the state, executive director from AALI, Renu Mishra said, “The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 makes it illegal for girls to marry under 18 years and for boys under 21 years. It is a non-cognizable and non-bailable offence with a fine up to Rs100,000, or up to two years of imprisonment, or both.”
Chairperson of UPSCPCR, Juhie Singh said, “Even though children are not their vote bank, a lot of political parties are aware of the issue and want to work for these children. We will make a road map soon.”