Tharuni has identified that the age-old problem of child marriages still persists in these region and is the main cause for high rate of school dropouts among the girls studying in higher classes. There is a need to enlighten both the girls as well as their parents regarding the adverse impact on the health of the girl due to early marriages and the resultant problems in family
Tharuni adopted different strategies like:
Direct Intervention/Awareness Programmes: Tharuni has conducted many sensitization programmes for the village locals to prevent Child Marriages from occurring. It has also organisedKalajathas, where the girls from their own villages are encouraged to form in to a cultural troupe and take up songs, dance and skits to sensitise other children and elders in the communities about social evils. Kalajathas/Puppetry and other local folk art forms are not only informative but are equally entertaining and they draw its roots from the local culture.
Capacity Building of officials: Several Government Officials like Child Marriages Prohibition Officers (CMPOs), Village Level Child Protection Committees (VLCPCs), Police & Judiciary Officials were trained on all the Women and Child related Acts.
Legal Activism: The Child Marriage Restraint Act was a social Act and the punishment was very less (up to 3 months punishment and Rs 1000/- penalty). Hence it could not been implemented effectively. Tharuni advocated for the CMR act to be made a Criminal Act or an Act with severe punishment and wrote to Honorable Chief Justice of India, NHRC and Minister for Health, Govt. of India, Joint Secretary, WCD, GOI.Tharuni’s suggestions were included in the New Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, 2006. In this New Act, punishment was increased to two years of imprisonment and penalty to one lakh Indian rupees. The Act also gave maintenance and rehabilitation to Child Bride until she marries again.
Policy Changes: Tharuni could proudly bring in amendments to the Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act, 2012 after a series of deliberations. A G.O. was issued on the amendment of Compulsory Registration of Marriages Act to make the Director, Women Development & Child Welfare as the Registrar General of Marriages; and the District Welfare Officer (DWO) as Additional Deputy Registrar.
Tharuni could also give a representation to the Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Judicature and Hyderabad and Executive Chairperson, State Legal Services Authority on the behalf of the Child Marriage victims, to which the representation was taken as a Public Interest Litigation.