30 children married off in Mysuru during 2020 COVID lockdown
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30 children married off in Mysuru during 2020 COVID lockdown

April 19, 2021

• 234 child marriage complaints received; 204 weddings stopped

• Shocking statistics emerge at Zilla Panchayat monthly meeting

Mysore/Mysuru: Karnataka saw a sharp rise in child marriages during the Coronavirus lockdown period last year with maximum children married off within four months (April-July), according to the Karnataka High Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR). 

This is a matter of concern, considering the number of children who were married last year. A maximum number of cases were from Mysuru district, followed by Ballari, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Belagavi and other rural parts of the State.

At the monthly meeting of Zilla Panchayat held in city on Saturday, K. Padma, Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development said that Mysuru district had witnessed as many as 234 child marriages during COVID-19 pandemic last year. “Many parents took advantage of the situation and married off their minor daughters. Though the Department was successful in stopping 204 marriages after convincing parents, 30 weddings had taken place                                                                                 before the officials and the Police reached the spot. FIRs have been registered against parents and they would face the law,” she added.

Damaged classrooms

During the meeting, ZP President Parimala Shyam took officials of Department of Engineering to task for inordinate delay in the construction of rain-damaged classrooms. She wanted to know whether engineers have planned to complete the repairs after any accident took place. This shows laxity of engineers in completing the assessments given to them by elected representatives, she said. 

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She said in 2019, over 418 classrooms were damaged due to rain and only 277 classrooms have been repaired. “75 works were under progress and 66 works were yet to be done. The work should have been completed last year. Is it possible to take up this work in current fiscal,” she asked officials.

Manjunathan, Chairman, Standing Committee on Health and Education, said the engineers of Panchayat Raj Engineering Department were not interested in repair works as funds were released only after completion of 75 percent works. Accordingly, Rs. 8.36 crore had been released. But still it was not known whether they would take up the classroom repair works.

No to solar light: Officials informed the meeting that the tribals of Balle and D.B. Kuppe in H.D. Kote taluk have demanded electricity connection instead of solar lights. Tribals have opined that they would be denied of other benefits of the State Government in case they use solar lights. Besides, they would not be eligible for conventional electricity supply if they use solar light. This project was successful  in Kodagu and Chamarajanagar Districts and is yet to pick up in H.D. Kote taluk. 

Two-wheelers for needy: Officials from Department of Physically Challenged Welfare were reprimanded over   delay in distribution on special two-wheelers. 

A total of 24 beneficiaries were selected under this scheme last year but none of them have been given vehicles yet. Only seven beneficiaries have LLR to drive vehicles and others were yet to take it. 

Standing Committee Chairman Manjunathan slammed officers for giving reasons instead of finding solution at their level. It was done purposefully to derail such welfare schemes. 

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