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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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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)