Assam Initiative against Child Marriage

The Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa recently held a cabinet meeting. During the meeting, State Government decided to launch a massive drive against child marriages in the state. The Gram Panchayat Secretary was appointed as the Child Marriage Prevention Officer. The drive will encourage the public to lodge complaints at the nearby police stations. Child marriage is illegal under the POSCO and Prevention of Child Marriage Act. However, the general public in Assam is hesitant to lodge complaints against child marriages due to fear. The initiative will aid in removing this hurdle. Along with child marriage, the drive will also focus on reducing the Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rates in Assam. A similar initiative was launched by the Karnataka state government earlier. Assam Government is launching this initiative by taking inspiration from the Karnataka Government. Karnataka is still running this initiative.

Need for the initiative

The national average of underage pregnant mothers is 6.8%. In Assam, it is 11.7%. Underage pregnant mothers mean girls who are under the age of 21 years and are pregnant.

What is the plan?

The marriage age of girls in India is 21. The cases of child marriage are alarmingly high in the state. So the state government is to first target men marrying girls of age 14 years and less.

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