Child Marriages Still Persist in India, What Can Change it For The Better?
The depraved and illegal practice of child marriage prevails and persists in many Indian states despite the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, which prohibits marriages of girls before they are 18 and boys under 21 years of age.
- The NFHS data shows the magnitude of child marriage and it ranges from 20 - 40 percent of all marriages in Indian states.
- Data published by the National Crime Records Bureau also shows that in the year 2020 there was a near 50 percent increase compared to 2019 in child marriages. While this could be because of better reporting, there is an all-round acceptance that the pandemic had indeed accelerated child marriages.
- Under the Central law, a child can request an annulment of the marriage upto two years after reaching adulthood. Rightly, here the criticism is that the law puts the whole onus on victims – mere kids without financial or social support – to have their marriage be declared void.
- Child marriages are a social evil which snatches away childhood and development.
It is unacceptable that a progressive country cannot stop young girls from being forced to undergo underage marriage. Why should they have to deal with pregnancies and child rearing only because a regressive society wills it that way?
Host: Shailaja Chandra
Dr KC James, the Director of the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai;
Kriti Bharti, Child Rights Activist;
Priyank Kanoongo, Chairman of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights;
Dr Ravi Verma, Regional Director for the International Center for Research on Women's Asia Regional Office
Editor: Shelly Walia
Music: Big Bang Fuzz