It’s high time when India should get rid of the practice of child marriage, there is no doubt that various efforts have been taken in this regard to stop this old age practice of marrying boys and girls at a tender age. The steps have also shown results but it seems that the country still has a long way to.
As per a ActionAid India report, ‘Eliminating Child Marriage in India: Progress And Prospects’ which was released on Friday, India constitutes of about 33% of the child brides in the world. Also, around 103 million Indians are married before they turn 18 years.
In a startling revelation made in the report, out of 28 child marriage that takes place per minute around the globe, two occur in India. The report suggests that putting an end to child marriage can stop 27,000 neonatal deaths, 55,000 infant deaths and 1,60,000 child deaths.
Veteran actor and social activist, Shabana Azmi who also released the report said, ““Patriarchy is at the root of child marriage, and patriarchy has to be tackled completely to eliminate child marriage. Spreading education and building confidence amongst girls enables them to resist child marriage and chart their own lives”.
Child marriages is more of a common practice in rural India, according to the report around 75% incidents of child marriage take place in rural areas. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh these are the seven states which constitute 70 % child marriage in India.
Srinivas Goli, assistant professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and author of the report, said, “India needs to realise that child marriage is not just a human rights or gender issue. It is a huge demographic, health, education and economic issue. If we cannot eliminate child marriages, it will become a huge hindrance to India’s economic prospects in the form of unhealthy and unskilled workforce.”