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India, Religious Leaders Pledge Zero Tolerance to Child Marraiges

Press Release

Faith Leaders Pledge Zero Tolerance to Child Marriages

Mahita- Plan India  under the aegis of Girls Advocacy Alliance in collaboration with the Interfaith Foundation for Social Change  organized a State Level Faith Leaders Conclave on 13 June 2018 at Hotel Minerva Grand, Secunderabad. Leaders from the different faith communities pledged to do all that is in their might to prevent child marriages.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Yerrola Srinivas Garu, Chairman, Telengana State SC/ST Commission said “prevention of child marriage is responsibility of every individual. We should, individually and collectively as community, fight against this evil. Education is the best means to do it”. He highlighted the steps taken by the State Government through schemes such as Kalyana Lakshmi  and Shaadi Mubarak  that supports young girls from socially backward and minority communities to the tune of Rs. One Lakh if they are married after attaining the legal age of 18 years.

The conclave focused on coordinated efforts of religious communities to prevent child marriage and promotion of secondary education. Placing the Conclave in perspective, Montfort Brother Varghese  Theckanath, President, Interfaith Forum for Social Change  (IFSC)  stated that 15 million girl children are married off every year worldwide. This works out to a child marriage every two seconds. If traditions and customs come in the way of preventing child marraiges, leaders of faith communities must step in to change these traditions. “It is time religious leaders leave their religious spaces to play their transformative role in society as change makers to help humanity attain their fullness of life”, he said. He promised that the Interfaith Forum will play an active role to bring together religious leaders of all hues to attain it.

Sri Harikishan ji (Arya Samaj), Sister Anjali (Head of the Brahma Kumaris),  Sri Ashish Barua (Prominet Buddhist Leader), Bro K M Joseph s.g. (former Assistant General of the Montfort Brothers from the Catholic Church), Moulana Dr. Syed Nasir Hussain Hyder Aga (Senior Shia Muslim leader), Sri Maneck Daruwala (Leader of the Secunderabad Fire Temple), Dr. Raminder Kaur (Religious Preacher from the Sikh Community), Jain Ratan K M Jhabak (Chief Priest of the Jain Temple)- Jain Community, Bishop Pushpa Lalitha (the first woman Bishop of the Church of South India in the country) and Sri Sri Seetharamacharyulu (Shaivaite Community), joined hands to pledge their total and unreserved commitment to prevent child marriages in the state of Telangana.

A poster on prevention of Child marriages by faith leaders was released on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ramesh Sekhar Reddy – Director of the NGO, Mahita   stated that Girls Advocacy Alliance, an NGO Collective has been working in the different districts of Telengana with religious leaders to sensitize their communities on the issues of child marriages and education for girls. But an event of such dimension at the state level a first of its kind. He said society at large counts on the Interfaith Forum for Social Change to take the campaign forward so that before long the Telengana state will record zero level of child marriages.

For information, contact Mr Tataji - 9640621799.


Child Marriages


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