Bachpan Bachao Andolan along with law enforcement agencies conduct consultation towards Child Marriage Free Uttarakhand

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Bachpan Bachao Andolan
ACS Radha Raturi

Bachpan Bachao Andolan

valley of Uttarakhand

Dehradun, 27 September. With the aim to end child marriage in India by 2030, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi organized a state consultation in collaboration with the Department of Home, Government of Uttarakhand. The consultation engaged and involved multiple stakeholders to intensify the fight against child marriage.

The aim was to mobilise all stakeholders of child protection to move together and help in the realisation of child marriage-free Uttarakhand under the larger vision of Child marriage-free India. This consultation results from a clarion call given by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi ji last year to end child marriage. It is the world’s largest grassroots movement against child marriage led by 76000 women.

The key dignitaries present on this occasion included Chief Guest, Smt. Radha Raturi, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Uttarakhand; Special Guest, Smt. Nivedita Kukreti, Additional Secretary Department of Home, Government of Uttarakhand; Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand; Prashant Arya, Additional Secretary, Women Empowerment & Child Development, Government of Uttarakhand; Anil Petwal, Additional Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, Government of Uttarakhand; Sujata Singh, Deputy Director, Department of Women & Child Development, Uttarakhand.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan

All the stakeholders deliberated through the consultation and created a roadmap to make Uttarakhand Child Marriage Free (Bachpan Bachao Andolan)

Dhananjay Tingal, Executive Director, BBA said, “When Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi ji gave the clarion call last year, the Nation saw an unprecedented and overwhelming response from the entire country. Over 76000 women in 7028 villages across the country last year took to the streets to raise their voices against child marriage in just one single day.

This consultation will be held in 20 states and is yet another step towards realising our collective dream to make India child-marriage-free by 2030. To fight and uproot child marriages completely, we need a multipronged and multidimensional strategy. Through these consultations, we aim to bring together the various stakeholders so that they can work in tandem to fight this crime. We will leave no stone unturned in our fight against this social evil and commitment shown by one and all only strengthens our determination and zeal.” The consultation is also supported by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

Underlining the importance of collective efforts of all stakeholders to combat child marriage as well as emphasizing that education alone is a major tool that can help us eradicate child marriage completely, Radha Raturi, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Uttarakhand said, “To ensure that child marriages are fought and combated effectively, we need to make a collective action plan and we also need to work with the vulnerable children to ensure no injustice is done to them.”

Bachpan Bachao Andolan
ACS Radha Raturi

Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, speaking at the consultation, discussed the various challenges that come in the way when dealing with the issue of child marriage and acknowledged the urgency to implement ideas to combat child marriage. “It is ironic that while we are fighting this social evil, child marriage is socially accepted in society even when it is wrong both ethically as well as legally. It is definitely a tough task but we all need to work together to make everyone aware of the consequences of this evil as well as ensure that the laws are enforced effectively and extensively.”

Prashant Arya, Additional Secretary, Women Empowerment & Child Development, Government of Uttarakhand, talking on the occasion, emphasised on the need for a cohesive approach to fight child marriage. “Child marriage is deeply rooted in our society. We have to make everyone aware and sensitize the masses that while this social evil impacts children, it goes on to destroy not just their childhood but their entire lives.”

According to the Census 2011 report, 51,57,863 girls in India and around 54,858 children were married off before turning 18 in Uttarakhand. This is a cause of grave concern and requires immediate action to protect young girls from the evil of child marriage. The National Family Health Survey-V (NFHS 2019-21) reports that nationally 23.3% of women between the age group of 20-24 were married off before attaining the age of 18. While Uttarakhand reported 9.8% of women in the same age group were married before the age of 18.

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