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Controversial TV Show ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ goes Off Air: Story Revolved 18-year-old Girl marrying a 9-year-old Boy

After defending it for over a month, the channel has finally pulled the plug on the show in response to a series of complaints against its content.

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Pehredaar Piya Ki
The show revolved around an 18-year-old girl marrying a nine-year-old boy. Youtube
  • The show which went on air last month gained popularity for all the wrong reasons
  • The plot revolves around an unusual marital bond between an 18-year old girl and a nine-year old boy
  • The channel decided to pull it off air following complaints on its content that is alleged to promote child marriage 

New Delhi, August 29, 2017 : Sony Entertainment Television on Tuesday said it has pulled its controversial show “Pehredaar Piya Ki” off air. The development came after a string of complaints against the show which revolved around an 18-year-old girl marrying a nine-year-old boy.

The development was effective from Monday, according to an official statement issued on behalf of the channel on Tuesday.

ALSO READ Where is Indian Television Steering? ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ Shows a Young Boy and Mature Girl in Wedlock

“We are pulling off our programme ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ from television. While we understand that the decision to end this serial will be disappointing to those whose creative energies are vested in it, namely, its crew and cast, we (as a channel) are convinced that we will be better served by focusing instead on developing viewer interest in our upcoming, new shows.

“We are grateful to all the artists, producers and fans of our shows and request you to graciously support the viewership of our newer ventures,” the statement read.

Earlier this month, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) had directed the channel to shift the show to a late night slot, besides running it with a scroll stating that it does not promote the concept of child marriage.

Even an online petition was moved for a ban on the TV show, which has been described as having “obnoxious and perverted” content that can “severely impact impressionable minds of children”.

The makers have been defending it all along, saying viewers must understand the circumstances in which the girl has to marry the child.

“Pehredaar Piya Ki”, produced by Shashi Sumeet Productions, went on air last month. The makers were also reportedly planning to add a forward leap to the story. (IANS)

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International Girl Child Day: Celebrating Birth of a Girl Child

International Girls day is celebrated every year on 11th October in order to give the girl child the respect and dignity she deserves.

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International Girl Child Day
On this International Girl Child Day, let’s be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and let’s do our bit in making the world a better place. Maxpixel

International Girl Child Day has been declared by the United Nations on the 11th October every year in order to celebrate the importance of the girl child. On the occasion of International Girl Child Day, let’s help to spread awareness about the various problems faced by the girl child.

Perception 

The common perception of any society, sees girls are often considered to be inferior to boys. Discrimination against girls is unchecked, Due to fear of exploitation, they are not sent to schools and denied the right to a decent education.

Due to fear of exploitation parents do not send girl child to schools. Pixabay

Female Foeticide

Female Foeticide is an issue which is prevalent in the urban and mostly in the rural areas. People who are ill-informed believe that a girl child is inferior to a boy and thus will not be able to help the family in any way other than increasing the burden of feeding another mouth on them.

Save a Girl Child and protect a woman’s Dignity.

 

Child Marriage

Child marriage is another important issue because of which girls are forced to drop out from their education at a very early age.  India has the highest number of girls forced into marriage under the legal age of 18 accounting for 10 million child brides in the world.

It accounts for more than 70000 deaths each year relating to maternal deaths from pregnancy and childbirth. They also become victims of domestic abuse and the dowry system.

In some parts of the country, family marries off the girl in early age in order to save their economic burden. The reason for child marriage being so prevalent even today lies in the dowry system practised by a large portion of the educated lot.

A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2012. She was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labor. voa

Girl Child Health

In the rural areas, the health facilities are not very developed. If there is a choice between the girl and boy, most of the people will make sure that the boy remains healthy in the hope of him supporting the family in future. Health facilities are the basic amenities of life and are meant to be used by everybody equally. In India, several girl children die of malnutrition and diseases before the age of 6.  Higher rates of child marriage lead to maternity deaths arising from complications in pregnancy and giving birth and it also increases the chances of the stillborn infant.

Girl Child Trafficking

Girl child trafficking is the defined as the trade any girl child under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploitation whether inside or outside the country.  According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Mostly these children are underage girls. They are taken from their homes and sold in the market for the purpose of begging, labor, and sexual exploitation.  Sometimes it is their own family members who sell them for the need of money or just because they think she is a burden.

Child Marriage
According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Wikimedia

On this International Girl Child Day, let us be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and do our bit in making the world a better place.  A very much needed change in the society is the change in the attitude of the people. They should understand the fact that girls are equal to boys in all aspects and should be given equal respect and liberty.

The childhood of a girl can be preserved if we as a society come together and make sure she is nurtured, cherished, protected and should be given freedom to choose her life the way she wants to live.

(The facts were first published by CRY ).

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Bandhan Tod : The Latest Mobile App to End Child Marriage in India’s Bihar

Despite a law banning girls from marrying before they turn 18, the practice is deeply rooted in tradition and widely accepted in Indian society.

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Child marriage
Child bride Krishna, 12, stands at a doorway into her compound in a village near Baran, in India's Rajasthan state. Despite a law banning girls from marrying before they turn 18, the practice is deeply rooted in tradition and widely accepted in Indian society. (VOA)

Bihar, September 20, 2017 : A mobile phone app is the latest tool for campaigners seeking to end child marriage in India’s Bihar state, where nearly two-thirds of girls in some of its rural areas are married before the legal age of 18.

The app, Bandhan Tod, was developed by Gender Alliance — a collective of more than 270 charities in Bihar focused on gender rights — and launched this week by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. It is backed by the U.N. Population Fund.

India ranks among countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world, accounting for a third of the global total of more than 700 million women, according to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency.

Bandhan Tod — meaning “break the binds” — includes classes on child marriage and dowries and their ill effects. It also has an SOS button that notifies the team when activated.

ALSO READ Ghana Chooses Girls Over Brides, Launches ‘End Child Marriage’ Campaign

“The app is a big part of our efforts to end child marriage in the state,” said Prashanti Tiwary, head of Gender Alliance.

“Education is good, but when a young girl wants help because she is being forced to marry before the legal age, the app can be her way out,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Despite a law banning girls from marrying before they turn 18, the practice is deeply rooted in tradition and widely accepted in Indian society. It is rarely reported as a crime and officials are often reluctant to prosecute offenders.

While boys also marry before the legal age of 21, girls are disproportionately affected.

Risks of abuse, death rise

Early marriage makes it more likely that girls will drop out of school, and campaigners say it also increases risks of sexual violence, domestic abuse and death in childbirth.

Legal efforts have failed to break the stranglehold of tradition and culture that continues to support child marriage, charity ActionAid India said in a report this year.

When the SOS on Bandhan Tod is activated, the nearest small NGO will attempt to resolve the issue. If the family resists, then the police will be notified, said Tiwary.

A similar app in West Bengal state to report child marriage and trafficking of women and children has helped prevent several such instances, according to Child in Need Institute, which launched the app in 2015.

ALSO READ Mobile Applications Ensure Public Safety in Rio De Janerio

Other efforts include a cash incentive, where the state transfers a sum of money to the girl’s bank account if she remains in school and unwed at age 18.

Suppliers of wedding tents in Rajasthan state have stopped dozens of child marriages by alerting officials.

“It will take a change in mindset and behavior to end child marriage,” said Tiwary, who is lobbying the government to raise the marriage age for women to 21, so they have the same opportunities as men.

“But technology provides a practical and accessible way to help prevent it on the ground,” she said. (VOA)

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Ghana Chooses Girls Over Brides, Launches ‘End Child Marriage’ Campaign

Even though government has devised policies and laws against child marriage and declared it a crime, the practice is still rampant. If the current trend persists, it can potentially cause irrevocable damage to the society.

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Child marriage rates are increasing at an alarming rate in Africa
Child marriage is a global issue, with an increasing number of cases reported from African countries. Pixabay
  • Child marriage is a global issue with the highest rates usually observed in African countries
  • Poverty, gender inequality, and ignorance are the main factors that contribute to child marriage
  • According to ICRW, 1/3rd of the girls in developing countries are married before 18 years of age

Ghana, August 14, 2017: I have a 16-year-old sister who studies in class tenth. She spends most of her time at school and spends the remaining hours playing with her friends, watching the TV and doing her homework. But imagine another 16-year-old girl taking care of her husband and kids, managing a family and running a house, instead of attending school? The practice of child marriage is a global issue. According to International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), one-third of the girls growing up in developing countries are married before they turn 18 and one in every nine girls is married before the age of 15.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),70 million girls will be married as children over the next five years if stringent efforts are not undertaken to alter the prevailing trend.

In Ghana, according to the 1992 Constitution and the Children’s Act (Act 560), the legal age for marriage is 18 years old. However despite the law, children are forced into marriage before they turn the specified age.

The practice of child marriage is increasing at an alarming rate in significant parts of Africa because of an inherent belief among adults that they can impose marriage upon girls. This largely denies the girl child to choose whom to marry, and when to marry leading to several health complications and even death.

John Abaa, a Senior program officer at Action Aid Ghana (AAG), an organization working on this issue in Ghana, believes that upon marriage, a girl is compelled to quit school and shift to a new place with new people, and take up roles that she is not mentally or physically prepared for. This, as a result, leads to isolation and depression, a growing cause of concern.

Child marriage is a human rights violation. However, despite laws against it, the practice remains rampant, in part because of persistent poverty and gender inequality.

While child marriage affects both the girls and the boys, the effects are more grave and disturbing on the girl child-

  1. Denial of rights 
  2. Impact on the girl’s health, future, and family
  3. Exploitation
  4. Waste of talent

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FAILURE OF GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES

According to statistics by UNICEF, 96 girls at Bongo were found to be pregnant during the 2014-15 academic year, and the number increased to 111 girls in the 2015-16 academic year. Their figures were not only alarming but also the highest in the country.

Even though the government has devised policies and laws against child marriage and declared it a crime, the practice is still rampant. Greater efforts combined with help from other influential sectors of the society are needed to help curb this ill that currently engulfs the Bongo society.

ALSO READ: “Changing the law is not the ultimate end to child marriage” in Tanzania, says Activist

Officer Abaa also believes the Social Welfare and Community Development Department and the Ghana Education Service have failed to perform their part to curtail the practice. In an interview with GNA in May this year, he said that these organizations need to speed up processes as they hardly followed up on reported cases of child marriage, adding that this enables the perpetrators to take the girls to the southern part of the country, thus ruining their chance to get back to school.

Beacon of Hope : Action Aid Ghana (AAG)

Action Aid Ghana (AAG) a non-governmental organization currently active in 6 regions of GHana, has six interventions like the Young Urban Women Project (YUWP), the Community-based Anti-Violence Teams (COMBAT), girls’ camps and clubs that monitor child marriages and marriage by abduction of the child bride, and also focus on their prevention and rescue.

AAG is at present assisted by funding from UNICEF, and is implementing a two-year campaign project aimed at making a significant impact on,

  • Reduction of socio-cultural practices that promote child marriage
  • Helping children acquire skills, knowledge and right attitude to resist child marriage
  • Encouraging continuation of school education

Currently, the project is being implemented in 12 districts and 120 communities in the Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West Regions in Bongo, Ghana.

Since it’s inception in 2015, the project has been engaging actively with young groups to impart education and promotion of their rights and also supporting them with issues that concern them. To advance the reach and impact of the project, traditional, religious and opinion leaders are also being increasingly sensitized now and encouraged to “use their authority to abolish and modernize some of the cultural and religious practices that expose girls to early marriages and to strongly declare their stand against child marriage,” said Abena Anem-Adjei, the Project Coordinator of AAG in charge of the End Child Marriage Project, as reported by GNA.

Parents are also counseled to not hesitate in reporting cases of child marriages to child protection agencies like Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit and Department of Social Welfare and Community Development.

Senior program officer of AAG, John Abaa also told GNA, “We are making progress onwards ending child marriage as people are becoming aware of the negative effects of child marriage and supporting us to rescue girls from child marriage”.

Role of Traditional, Religious and Spiritual Leaders

Traditional and religious leaders in the Zorko community have also joined hands to come together to help create awareness and spread the word about the need to end child marriages in the area, because of the increasingly active presence they have.

The bodies that include the branch of the Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Church, the Christ Apostolic Church International, and the Muslem Community, among others pledged their commitment to help end child marriages by preaching and including the topic in their sermons.

A pledge to help curtail the societal ill was taken by these leaders at a community durbar organized at Zorko community in Bongo district by Action Aid Ghana.

According to GNA, Helen Adongo, an officer of the Social Welfare and Community Development warned parents against getting their daughters married before they turn the legal age that is 18 years old as this is against the 1992 Constitution and the Children’s Act.

 

According to her, parents force their daughters into matrimony when they get pregnant. Condemning the act, Helen believes in such a situation, the parents should take care of the daughters and let them continue with their education. Naba Victor Adendaa Awamyelum, the Chief of Zorko-Kodorogu and the Queen-mother for the area, Pognaba Ade-Ana Awamyelum also stressed upon education of the girl child and added that parents must be encouraged to give special attention to their daughters, as reported by GNA.

Malam Bashiru Ayoreyesia of the Muslem community (Ghana) believes God only cherishes happy families that could only be built by partners mature enough to take concrete decisions in favor of the family, as reported by GNA. Thus, to champion the cause, various religious leaders have pledged to preach against child marriage and to ensure that only mature people engage in it.


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