In a remarkable sign of the times, a female official in India’s Dharmapuri district is using modern technology to fight underage marriage. In a letter directly addressing all schoolchildren in her district, R. Lilly wrote: “Dear sister, SMS me when you are forced into child marriage.” She goes on to explain the harmful effects of child marriage and asks kids to alert her immediately if they become aware of plans to force a child into marriage. Lilly told the Deccan Chronicle:
We are exhausted. We informed parents about problems arising out of child marriage and in many cases, we stop such marriages. But we couldn’t bring down the number of child marriages here. So we have chosen to target children directly.
Lilly’s letter provides kids with a mobile phone number and promises to protect the sender’s identity. READ MORE: Letter to students to check child marriage, Deccan Chronicle (December 31, 2011).