Kailash Satyarthi begins a national movement to end child marriage

While starting the statewide campaign for a “Child Marriage Free India” in village Navranpura in Virat Nagar town of Jaipur district, Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi welcomed the Central Government’s proposal to raise the marriageable age of females from 18 to 21. On Sunday, he spoke at the event and declared, “I endorse the Government of India’s proposal to raise the marriageable age of girls from 18 to 21. I appeal to religious leaders to speak out and make sure that everyone who officiates weddings, even in a small community, does not continue this atrocity against children.

I kindly request that no caterers, decorators, proprietors of banquet halls, musicians, or anybody else participate in this heinous crime by providing their services for these weddings. You are not the only one among you trying to end child marriage in your areas. I concur with you. I will do everything in my power to safeguard you as your brother. In this battle, I won’t desert you.
Leymah Gbowee, a fellow Liberian and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, said: “Child marriage is an abhorrent practise that occurs all across the world. This violation of human rights must stop. This is necessary for humankind as a whole.

The largest public awareness campaign against child marriage will be led by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF). As part of the programme, women and girls led participants in torchlight processions and the lighting of lamps in over 10,000 villages spread throughout more than 500 districts and 26 states (6,015 villages were led by KSCF). At the campaign’s beginning, around 20 million people from all throughout the nation made a commitment to end child marriage.

The programme on Sunday was the largest grassroots campaign against child marriage to be launched in India in a single day. According to officials, this initiative is the largest grassroots effort against any social ill in history. According to the representatives, “the government agencies, including Railway Protection Force (RPF), Women and Child Development Department of 14 States, State Child Protection Authorities, State Legal Services Authorities, Anganwadis, and District Administration of several State Governments joined in support of the nationwide campaign.”

Many people—including women and girls—who have survived child weddings and those young children who have successfully stopped child marriages made a united call to action for the country to outlaw the practise in order to put an end to the scourge it has caused in our society. “Child marriage is a violation of human rights and dignity, which regrettably still has social acceptance. This social evil propels an unending list of crimes against children, especially against our daughters,” Satyarthi said, highlighting the plight of the child marriage survivors. “A few weeks ago, I put out a call to make India child marriage free. 70,000 women changemakers were sparked by this spark, proving that millions of women have been constrained by this pervasive, oppressive social norm, he claimed.

(source : IANS)

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