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Carry Awareness Drives, Counsel Families To Check Child Marriages On 'Akshaya Tritiya': NCPCR To DMs

'Akshaya Tritiya', also known as 'Akti' or 'Akha Teej', is an annual springtime festival when holding weddings is considered auspicious. This year 'Akshaya Tritiya' will be celebrated on May 3.

Prevention of child marriage.
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Ahead of the 'Akshaya Tritiya' period when a high number of child marriages take place, the apex child rights body, NCPCR, has asked district magistrates to carry out awareness campaigns, family counselling and make a list of drop out and irregular children in schools to ensure prevention of any such marriages from taking place. 

Child marriage is solemnized from time to time in various rural and tribal belts of the country but in few communities, this has been a practice that is followed in a dedicated manner during some specific time periods of the year. 

'Akshaya Tritiya', also known as 'Akti' or 'Akha Teej', is an annual springtime festival when holding weddings is considered auspicious. This year 'Akshaya Tritiya' will be celebrated on May 3. 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo, in a letter to district magistrates, said various media sources suggest that a large number of child marriages take place during this period of the year. 

"You must be aware that the Protection of Child Marriage Act, 2006, seeks to prevent child marriages by making certain actions punishable and by appointing certain authorities responsible for the prevention and prohibition of child marriages. Section 13 (4) of PCMA, 2006, states that for the purposes of preventing solemnisation of mass child marriages on certain days such as Akshaya Tritiya, the District Magistrate (DM) shall be deemed to be the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer (CMPO)," the commission said.

The commission asked district magistrates and collectors to undertake awareness programmes at the village, urban/ward, Zila, tehsil level, prepare a school wise list of children who are drop out, out of school and not attending school regularly and DM/CMPO must identify children from these lists who can be at risk of child marriage. 

The NCPCR further said that family counselling and proper inquiry of all such identified children must be ensured to prevent any possible child marriage.

The NCPCR sought these details from the DMs by April 20. 

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