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35,000 girls from Karnataka to take an oath against child-marriage

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Koppal District, Karnataka: Around 35000 girls from Koppal district will take an oath in writing that they will not undergo child marriage, and that they will marry only after attaining the legal age of 18-years.

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credits: easytoursofindia.com

 

The girls will submit these written oaths to the district unit of the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), according to a report published in Vijaya Karnataka newspaper, a Kannada daily.

According to a report published in 2010, even though the percentage of child marriage had come down from 50% in 1998-99 to 44.5% in 2006, the percentage in certain states like Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh etc. were still high. It also says that according to 2001 census, around 300,000 married girls became mothers before the age of 15.

A 2008 study states that two out of five girls in Karnataka were married off before the age of 18 and around 51.4% of the marriages in Koppal district were child marriages. Between 2010 and 2015, a total of 804 incidents of child marriages have been prevented by various officials and voluntary groups.

The UNICEF has formed around 900 groups in various parts of the district and has inducted girls between 13-18-years of age as its members. These girls have been taught about the dangers of child marriage.

In order to strengthen the resolve of these girls to not succumb to the pressure and marry early, the district unit of the UNICEF has started this written oath campaign. The campaign is scheduled to begin towards the end of August and will run till December end.

The district officials in Koppal have also taken various measures to curb child marriage. The previous deputy commissioner of Koppal had written letters to students in various high schools and pre-university colleges. The present deputy commissioner R.R.Jannu has made it compulsory for the marriage card printers to verify the age of couple before printing the cards, according to the Vijaya Karnataka report.

The UNICEF initiative will serve as an example which can be implemented throughout the country.

The practice of marrying children early has serious consequences on children, especially on the girls. It infringes the rights of girl children to have a free and open childhood without any burden or responsibility. It may also lead to girls dropping out of school and making them deprived of education. Such girls will be exposed to sexual activities quite early and hence will be exposed to various health risks. Early pregnancies will further increase their responsibility. Such girls are denied a future where they can make their own life decisions.

 

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)