78 child marriages reported this year: Renuka Chowdhury

December 15th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Child marriages are still performed in India and 78 such cases have been reported in 2008, three of which were recorded in Rajasthan alone, the Rajya Sabha was informed Monday.Agreeing that scores of child marriages are taking place unhindered in India, Women and Child Development Minsiter Renuka Chowdhury said the problem still exists in some parts of the country.

Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau, she said that while in 2006 about 99 cases were reported, in 2007 96 cases were registered under the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929.

In 2006, one case was recorded in Rajasthan, and three cases each were registered in 2007 and 2008 respectively in the desert state, where the norm is quite prevalent.

Chowdhury said to prohibit child marriages and to make the provisions of the Act more effective and punishment more stringent for offenders, a new legislation - Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 - has been introduced.

She said the Act provides for the appointment of child marriage prohibition officers in each state. Also, awareness generation and advocacy measures are continuously being undertaken by them to prohibit child marriages in the country.

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