8888677771 | Rights panel seeks report on pre-marital counselling proposal for college students in Kerala

The State Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the Director of Collegiate Education in connection with the proposal to introduce pre-marital counselling for college students in the State within a month.

Considering a petition filed by Varughese Mathew, president of the Kerala Unaided College Principals’ Council, recently, acting Chairman of the Commission K. Baijunath noted that pre-marital counselling was a need of the time and should be considered positively. The Commission said that the fragility of marital relationships these days and human rights violations within marriage were a cause for concern and noted that the need for family courts was on the rise due to the increase in family issues.

Mr. Mathew, in his petition, has pointed out that college life is the only period during which students could obtain such education based on science, without any religious influences. “Most students finish their undergraduate courses at the age of 20 or 21 and many of them get married soon after, without any clear idea about marital life. Many are totally uneducated about sexual relationships or have very wrong ideas about it. This leads to divorces and extramarital affairs,” he said.

While pre-marital counselling is mandatory in some Christian communities, there is no such practice in most other religions. “If pre-marital counselling is made compulsory for final-year UG and PG students irrespective of caste or religion, they will get a strong foundation for their married life,” Mr. Mathew added.

The Principals’ Council has even prepared an elaborate module of 10-12 hours of counselling for students. The council has also pointed out that a recommendation in this regard by the Kerala Women’s Commission in 2022 is yet to be taken into consideration by the authorities concerned.

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