Child marriage in India
Leepa Chakraborty, Agami Kalarab: Child marriage is another very serious issue of India. The tradition of child marriage is prevalent not only in India but in many countries of the world and India ranks second in the world.
According to UNICEF, child marriages are more prevalent in rural areas in India.
Statistics says the state of Bihar in India has the highest incidence of child marriages at around 68% and the other hand in Himachal Pradesh this figure is the lowest at 9%.
It is said that child marriage practice was not there in the beginning in India. It came into existence during the time of Delhi Sultanate. At that time the practice of child marriage was resorted to protect girls from foreign rulers. And the second reason for child marriage is the desire to see grandchildren in the elderly.
Child marriage effect on society
Child marriage is such a evil custom due to which children are deprived of the right to good health, nutrition and education. Apart from this, it has also been seen that girls face more violence, abuse and harassment due to marriage at a early age.
Because of child marriage, both boys and girls are affected mentally, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Their education opportunities also decrease, and their personality is also not developed properly. This is an issue in which a large number of girls are affected.
Child marriage is very harmful. It always results in harmful consequences, including the most fatal mother and infant mortality rate increase and there is a risk of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.
Cultural trends, social traditions, economic pressures, poverty and inequality are the main reasons for child marriage.
Child marriage act
Raja Rammohan Roy and Keshub Chandra Sen had introduced a bill by the British Government to prevent the practice of child marriage, which is known as the Special Marriage Act unde which the boys ‘age is 18 and girls age 14’ is prescribed for marriage. But later a bill called Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in which the age of boys was increased to 21 and girls to 18.
In independent India, it made many efforts to prevent it and also made many laws. Some laws were enacted by government, such as the Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006 which exists. This Act strictly prohibits child marriage.
Child labor, malnutrition and gender inequality are all spread in society like plague disease which has been hollowing out our society from inside, and at the same time is creating hindrance in the progress of the country.
The government has taken various steps to deal with this problem. (TO BE CONTINUED ON NEXT WEEK).
To watch the previous part please click on this link- https://agamikalarab.com/2019/10/31/gender-inequality-the-dark-side-of-indiapart-3/