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Aug 6, 2008

Campaign For Compulsory Registration Of Marriages

G.Thiruvasagam (third right), Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University, adopting the campaign for compulsory registration of marriages on behalf of the University in the city.G.P.Godhanavalli (second right), co-ordinator, State Women’s Commission, is in the picture.A mass marriage registration camp will be organised in Coimbatore soon as part of the campaign to ensure compulsory registration of marriages in the district launched by the Chairperson of the State Women’s Commission K.M.Ramathal earlier in July.

Officials of the State Women’s Commission in the district are going about collecting applications from people who have not registered their marriages yet. They have roped in NSS volunteers in colleges too for this purpose. Almost all the NSS volunteers of colleges affiliated to Bharathiar University have undertaken the project.

Ever since the campaign was launched, 180 marriages had been registered, said G.P.Godhanavalli, Co-ordinator of the State Women’s Commission. About 350 more applications had been collected from people who had come forward to register their marriages, she added.The NSS volunteers played a crucial role in spreading awareness on registration of marriages in rural areas. The sub-registrar offices, non-Governmental organisations, and the District Social Welfare office too were creating awareness on registration.

The volunteers also put up posters on the importance of registration at Government offices, the registrar office, in Corporation offices, in all women’s police stations and in the Collectorate. They were also planning to put up notices in public places such as bus stands and roadsides. In the case of Christian and Muslim weddings, the registrations were done at the church and the mosque itself whereas the Hindu wedding rituals did not insist on it, Ms.Godhanavalli pointed out. Also, a majority of the public was unaware of the legal implications of non-registration, she added. Registration would act as a protection for women in cases of domestic violence. The women would not be able to seek a divorce if the marriage was not legally valid, she said.

The ignorance was appalling among the lower income groups. The upper middle class too were not aware of the need to register their marriages. In case of property disputes and for couples who were considering adopting a child, registration was a must. In addition, cases of separation would decline if there was a legal bond holding two individuals together, Ms.Godhanavalli observed. Individuals who had applied to register their marriages should produce the family card as residence proof, school leaving certificate as age proof, community certificate and passport size photographs. For details, contact Ms.Godhanavalli at 9842253212.

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