From: mohanlal panda <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM
Subject: Spurt in child marriages in Haryana
Greetings from PVCHR.
Please refer to the following news link and the attached report: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110711/edit.htm#2
Spurt in child marriages
One more harsh reality for Haryana girls
The women of Haryana have an uncanny way of making it to the news pages. Sometimes, even before they are born. Often, for being killed by their own kith and kin for such a simple act like marrying someone they like. The social web they are born and brought up in pushes them to make startling headlines — female foeticide, honour killings, and now child marriages — indicators of society's obstinacy for clinging to feudal values, while modernity knocks at its doors. In six months, 195 child marriages have been reported in Haryana, as compared to 47 in 2009. The reasoning offered behind these marriages is startling — safety for the girl and protection of family honour!
There are clear indications of violation of human rights for women at various stages of their existence. There are, of course, paradoxes like Commonwealth champions Babita and Geeta from Balali village in Bhiwani district, who were encouraged to take up 'kushti' (wrestling) by their parents, despite a lot of opposition from the villagers. After the medals started pouring in, the scenario changed. Now, four other girls from the same village have joined wrestling. And these are not isolated cases. But, unfortunately, instead of highlighting these champions and using them as their poster girls in a state where female foeticide is showing alarming figures, the government chooses to introduce cash incentives for the girl child, from her birth to her marriage!
So long as the girl child is treated as a liability, and money is offered as a kind of compensation under several schemes (Ladli, Balika Samriddhi Yojna, Dhan Luxmi, etc) by the government for letting a girl child take birth, it will be impossible for her to grow up with self-respect and the required confidence to claim her rights. And girls will continue to be bartered with money, material, in barter marriage (atta-satta) and under all other kinds of violations of her rights. If the government is serious about tackling this malaise, it should provide a safe environment for girls to come to schools and colleges, so that like other parameters of modernity, independent girls too find their space.
This is a serious case of human rights violation. On behalf of PVCHR, I request you to look into the matter and take necessary action.
Dr. Mohanlal Panda
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