JAIPUR: Tent dealers in the Indian state of Rajasthan have decided not to provide wedding tents for child marriages, in a move to discourage the practice, reported the Times of India.

The decision was taken by Rajasthan Tent Dealers Kiraya Vyavsai Samiti, an association of tent dealers in the state of Rajasthan.

Tent dealers will now ask the parents of the bride and groom for birth certificates to ensure they are not facilitating the practice of child marriages. If the birth certificates prove that minors are being wed, the tent dealers will immediately inform the police.

The practice of child marriage is rampant in the districts of Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu. The period of April to May is also regarded as auspicious to solemnise such weddings.

The decision by the tent dealers association was taken in a meeting held on Friday.

Ravi Jindal, president of the association, confirmed that birth certificates will be required before they provide logistics for the marriage, and if an individual or group gives information which is not correct, the nearest police station will be informed.

The United Nations in 2014 adopted the first-ever resolution calling on governments to stop child marriages, despite misgivings from countries who had hoped to include sex education as key to preventing the practice.

About 15 million girls worldwide become child brides each year and globally, more than 700 million women were married before the age of 18.

Niger, Bangladesh and India have high rates of child marriages, but are also prevalent in immigrant communities in developed countries.

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