Lack of security is also a contributing factor as parents move in to urban areas in an attempt to fetch a better livelihood and leave their daughter's behind.
Data collected by the Department of Social Welfare proves that until October this year over 14 marriages of minors had come to light in Chennai. This raises concerns as it is the highest ever since 18 marriages of minors were stopped in 2014. When asked if the reason behind the increase in child marriages can be pin pointed, S Thomas Jayaraj, state convener, Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection Network expressed that the last decade has seen an increase in cases caused by factors such as migration to urban areas. Lack of security is also a contributing factor as parents move in to urban areas in an attempt to fetch a better livelihood and leave their daughter's behind. To avoid this, parents are often seen marrying their daughters off before the legal age.
The past 10 years have seen 61 similar cases that were fortunately reported and stopped in areas like Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Niligiris. However, what still worries activists is the increase in number at other districts such as Perambalur and Dharmapuri, with 615 and 799 weddings of minors reported. Rescuers have actively been reiterating the need to educate and spread awareness against child marriage, especially in urban areas of the city. This, they say is the need of the hour especially in Chennai because the state had earlier in 2011 topped the Census Data list with 5,480 girls under the age of 15 being married off.
Activists in the department carrying out rescue operations for these girls state that they had been alerted about over 100 cases in and around Tamil Nadu each month, adding that in 2017 alone, 1,636 marriages were successfully busted by then. However, the fight continues as this year, the number of marriages reported have shot up to 1,664.
With the right technology in place, it has helped people report cases quicker through the child helpline 1098 and has also assisted in passing on information at the speed of light. This bridges the communication gap between the public and officials who act upon the reported cases.
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Last Updated Nov 24, 2018, 3:35 PM IST