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Checks On Birth Certificate, Wedding Card In Rajasthan Govt’s Plan Against Child Marriage

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In an attempt to curb child marriage in Rajasthan, the state government has reportedly issued an order that accounts for certain checks on the ages of the bride and groom, as well as places responsibility on the marriage attendees and others associated with the rituals.

The Rajasthan government is tightening the screws on regulation against the widespread practice of child marriage in the state. It has stated that wedding cards should bear the names of both persons marrying and that copies of their birth certificates must compulsorily be submitted when cards go for printing, as per a report by CNN-News18. 

The order comes ahead of periods of religious significance for many communities, such as the Akshaya Tritiya, during which time marriages are considered auspicious.

Everyone, from the caterers to venue owners, officiating priests and wedding guests will reportedly be brought to book and charged under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act in case of the illegal ceremony.

Child Marriage In Rajasthan: Still A Threatening Reality?

Rajasthan, currently headed by Indian National Congress (INC) leader Ashok Gehlot, has seen a decline in child marriages over the last two decades but the social evil still looms large in the state. Even after the introduction of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act in 2006, Rajasthan was identified among the top states showing child marriage trends alongside Bihar and Bengal.

As per official data by the National Family Health Survey, child marriage rates went down from 47 percent between 2005-06 to 27 percent in 2015-16 in India after PCMA 2006. Child marriage in Rajasthan too traced a downward trend of 35 percent down from 65 percent.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) however has recognised child marriage in India as a persistent problem that is raised primarily with wedding underage girls to either underage or older men. “1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world,” the global organisation notes.

As concerns on the subject abound, India last year was considering raising the marriageable age of girls from 18 to 21 years. But how far would that affect reduction or complete eradication of child bride practices? Read an opinion on it here.