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'When Children Have Children': A blueprint on how to make India child marriage free by 2030

'When Children Have Children': A blueprint on how to make India child marriage free by 2030
, Sunday, 15 October 2023 (17:50 IST)
Hyderabad: A book titled ‘When Children Have Children Tipping Point To End Child Marriage’ by Bhuwan Ribhu, was recently unveiled simultaneously in 8 districts of Telangana.
The book was released by child marriage survivors and dignitaries from law enforcement agencies and civil society organisations.
With lakhs of minor girls being married off, freeing India from the clutches of child marriage feels like a distant dream.
This new book that could be a game-changer has hit the stands, and provides a blueprint on how to make India child marriage free by 2030.
The book unveiled as part of the ongoing nationwide Child Marriage Free India campaign.
The author, Bhuwan Ribhu, a noted child rights activist, is one of the most prolific lawyers in India working for the protection of women and children.
Bhuwan Ribhu is the advisor to 160 organizations which works for the safeguarding and protection of child rights in the country.
The book puts forth ideas, a framework, and an action plan to eliminate child marriage from India, and is a key milestone in the Child Marriage Free India campaign, which is led by civil society organizations and women activists in more than 300 high prevalence districts.
India has made strong progress by reducing child marriage by more than 50% since 2006 to the current rate of 23.3%.
However, the situation still looks grim and challenging. As per the UNICEF estimates, if the progress continues at the current rate, millions more girls across India will be forced into child marriages until at least 2050.
When Children Have Children suggests that it is possible to reduce the national child marriage prevalence levels to 5.5 percent by 2030—the threshold beyond which the prevalence is expected to diminish with less reliance on targeted interventions.
“What is needed is an urgency with a resolve to say ‘no more.’ A child sold, raped and lost to maternal death, is a child too many,” Bhuwan Ribhu stated in the book.
Ravi Kant, Country Head, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, said on the release of the book, “Both the civil society as well as the governments have been working aggressively towards the cause of child marriage free India”.
This book is the blueprint to make India child marriage free by 2030. This book gives a tangible structure and direction to the immense but scattered efforts of all the stakeholders from the civil society to the government authorities and law enforcement agencies, He added.
The book presents a possible blueprint to achieve this through the PICKET strategy, which calls for the government, community, non-profits and girls vulnerable to child marriage work together on Policies, Investments, Convergence, Knowledge-building, Ecosystem where child marriage does not thrive, and Technology for monitoring and deterrence to combat child marriage.
The 160 organisations working in more than 300 districts across the country aim to end child marriage at local and grassroots levels. These organisations are gearing up for a national Child Marriage Free India day on 16th October 2023, when awareness programmes, pledges, street shows, candle-lit marches, workshops and many other activities will be held in thousands of villages to spread the message that child marriage must end.
The day will mark the one-year anniversary of the campaign, during which thousands of child marriages have been stopped in their tracks by the efforts of community members, NGOs and government agencies, and millions of citizens have pledged to end child marriage in their own communities. (UNI)

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