Child Marriage Current Affairs - 2020

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CRY Report on Crime against Children in India

The Child Rights and You recently released a report “How Vulnerable are Children in India to crime?” The report was based on the analysis of National Crime Records Bureau for 2016-17. The report says that the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states for crimes against children. There were over 19,000 cases in both the states.

Key Findings

The highest increase in crimes between the years 2016 and 2017 was seen in Jharkhand. The Child labor in the country saw a substantial increase of 126%. The report says that in 2016 child labor was 204 and it increased to 462 in 2017. As far as Child Marriage is concerned there was an increase of 21.17%. The numbers were based on the cases registered under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006.

Though the numbers in child labor and child marriage has increased, CRY considers it as a positive step. This is because among all the other child crimes, these two are the most unreported.

Recommendations of the CRY

The organization suggests that there has to be increase in financial investments in child protection. The focus should be on capacity building among officials working in child protection systems.

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Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme: West Bengal Government removes lifts family income ceiling

West Bengal Government has announced to remove annual family income ceiling in eligibility criteria to be beneficiary under state’s UN award winning Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme. This will help more girls to chase their dreams with Government support. Currently only girls belonging to families with annual family income not more than Rs 1.20 lakh were entitled to get the benefits of this scheme. State government is also planning to set up “Kanyashree University” under this scheme for girls soon.

Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme

It is conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at improving status and well-being of girl child by incentivising schooling of teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18. It was launched by Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal Government (Women Development and Social Welfare department) in October 2013. It was aimed at increasing educational attainment of girls, prevention of child marriage and financial inclusion.

Objectives: Improve lives and status of the adolescent girls in State. Provide financial help to girls from disadvantaged families to pursue higher studies (now it will cover every girl from state). Prevent child marriage. Improved outcomes in terms of their health (especially facilitate the prevention of infant and maternal mortality). Contribute towards empowerment of girls in the state. Bring immeasurable benefits for the larger society as a whole.

Targeted Beneficiaries:  All girl children within age of 13 to 19 in the state.  Girls regularly attending institutions for education or vocational or sports training. Girls of Child Care Institutes registered under Juvenile Justice Act (JJ), 2000 within age of 18-19 years.

Components of Scheme

  • Annual Scholarship of Rs. 500: It is for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in government recognized regular or equivalent open school or equivalent vocational or technical training course.
  • One time Grant of Rs. 25,000: It is for girls turned 18 at time of application, enrolled in government recognized regular or open school and colleges or pursuing vocational or technical training or sports activity or is inmate of Home registered under JJ Act.

Progress: So far around 50 lakh girls from the state have been benefited by scheme and removal of ceiling will help another three lakh more girls annually. Since its launch, it has helped to reduce number of school drop out of girls by nearly 11.5%.The scheme was awarded United Nations Public Service Award in June 2017.

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