Drive to End Child Marriage in Assam
In a recent update from Guwahati, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has disclosed that the campaign against child marriages in Assam will undergo a renewed effort come September. This announcement was made on August 31st, signifying the government’s commitment to address this pressing issue.
Looking back at the preceding campaign conducted in February, its impact was felt throughout the State, sparking considerable attention. This response was due to the registration of a notable 4,235 complaints, and the subsequent apprehension of over 3,000 individuals, including 93 women, who were implicated in cases of child marriage.
During a recent address, Chief Minister Sarma revealed a significant step taken in this endeavor. He indicated that during the fourth conference of the Superintendents of Police held on July 28, he issued directives to officials to initiate another comprehensive drive. Additionally, he urged the formulation of specific operational protocols tailored to addressing instances of child marriage, with a deadline set for August 31.
Amidst these actions, the Chief Minister also underscored the importance of raising awareness among vulnerable populations. His objective is to ensure that young girls are not coerced into marriage before reaching the age of 18. By doing so, these young individuals would be granted ample opportunities to pursue their dreams and aspirations in life.
This renewed emphasis on combating child marriage coincides with the Chief Minister’s earlier announcement on Independence Day. He had expressed the State government’s determination to enact robust legislation to abolish polygamy. In pursuit of this goal, an expert committee led by retired judge Rumi Phukan was convened. This committee was tasked with thoroughly evaluating all legal facets pertinent to introducing appropriate legislation against polygamy.
While acknowledging that some tribal communities practice polygamy, it’s notable that the February campaign was perceived to be directed primarily at the Bengali-origin Muslim community. This context adds an important layer to the discourse surrounding these efforts.