The Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission, Rupali Chakanakar, has claimed that there has been an increase in the number of child marriages in the state after the COVID-19 lockdown. During a press conference held on Monday, Rupali Chakanakar highlighted this concerning trend. She revealed that in Latur alone, 37 cases of child marriages have been prevented, and two cases have been registered in connection with the incidents.
Mobile Phones Held Accountable
While the Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission did not present any concrete evidence or timeframe to substantiate her claims, it is clear that child marriages have been on the rise in Maharashtra. Rupali Chakanakar emphasized the need for strict measures to prevent child marriages, particularly in village councils. She stated that due to increased usage of mobile phones and other forms of technology, communication between parents and children has decreased. Consequently, young girls often fall prey to romantic relationships.
Rupali Chakanakar suggested that the Damini Squad, a special police unit for women’s protection, should engage more actively with young girls and raise awareness among them. Under the initiative “Mahila Aayog Aplya Daari” (Women’s Commission at Your Doorstep), the commission has received around 18,000 complaints from approximately 28 districts of the state. Of these, 93 complaints have originated from Latur, and efforts are being made to resolve them. During this process, officials including MLA Vikram Kale, Collector Varsha Thakur Ghuge, Superintendent of Police Somesh Mundhe, and District CEO Anmol Sagar were present.