COVID school closures leads to rise in child marriages in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district

Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu is witnessing an increasing trend of child marriage because of closure of schools triggered by COVID-19 and the administration has so far prevented five such marriages, Collector Innocent Divya said on Thursday. As schools were shut in view of the pandemic, parents were marrying off their girl children, without considering their age, particularly in Gudalur and Pandalur areas, she said on the sidelines of a programme.

Acting on a tip-off, the district authorities last week stopped five such marriages, Innocent Divya said and warned of stringent legal action against those involved in the offence.

Revenue and police departments have been asked to carry out a survey to find out the reasons for such child marriages, with the help of NGOs, she said.

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