A theatre group launched a campaign in August to raise awareness about child marriages in Sindh. Sujag Theater, the group from Dadu, performed in theaters in different districts in Sindh, including Dadu, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Umerkot and Tharparkar. At their performance in Sanghar district on August 28, the audience vowed to help stop child marriages.“Now, (the residents) will arrange a meeting every week, so that the practice of early marriages can be stopped,” said Chetab Bhat, a resident of the Soormo village in the district. The group is part of the Sujag Sansar Organisation that works for the marginalized in the society.
At a seminar held in Hyderabad, Mashoque Brahmani, CEO of the organisation, stressed the need for collaboration with the police and social organisations to educate people about the pitfalls of child marriages. Paras Somoro, a member of the organisation, said that child marriages not only hinder children’s education but also are a threat to their health. The Sindh Assembly had passed a law criminalising child marriage in 2013. The act forbids marriages of children below 18. Anyone, including the nikha registrar, who facilitates child marriage, will be punished with imprisonment for not less than three years, according to the law. Child marriages, however, are still common in the province, especially in rural areas.
Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.