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During Covid, The Number Of Child Marriages Increased, With Karnataka Topping The List.

Karnataka reported a twofold increase in the number of incidents of child marriage in the years 2020-21. K Govindaraju, Women and Child Development Minister Halappa Achar responded to a question by saying that 296 child marriages were reported in the state in 2020-21.

From 156 in 2019-20 to 119 in 2018-19, the number of reported cases climbed by 140. With 39 cases in 2020-21, Hassan led the state, followed by Mandya (34), Mysuru (31), and Ramanagara (31). (20). In 2019-20, Hassan had zero child marriage cases, compared to three in 2018-19. Bengaluru reported nine cases in 2020-21.

Karnataka led all Indian states in child weddings in 2020, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), with 184 cases reported, the Minister noted. Poverty, illiteracy, superstition, a lack of information on child marriage regulations, a lack of interest in educating girl children, and traditional elders’ demands, according to the minister, are all factors contributing to the rise in numbers. According to Achar, the department is taking multiple steps to end the heinous behavior.

According to Narasimha G Rao, a child rights campaigner, the government allowed marriages to take place at home at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which raised the risk of underage marriage. All such marriages, according to Rao, should be deemed null and void. “All of these youngsters must be located and their experiences must be documented. They may also be subjected to dowry harassment and sexual abuse. Parents and children must be counseled and reintegrated into the educational system “he explained. 

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