|Credit: Indian Legal System|
World today is full of hypocrites, be it India or any other country, be it a small issue or as big as child marriage. We are the age of Gen Y still so behind the time.
In India according to Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) 2006, the legal age of marriage is 18 years for girls and 21 for boys but as per statistics 49% of the girls get married before the age of 18 years and the states which have maximum such cases are Bihar and Rajasthan. It’s shameful that in a progressive and democratic country like India, this is still happening and more disgraceful is that the day like Akshay Tritiya is mostly the chosen date to commit such crime.
Why does it happen?
Although both the genders fall prey to child marriage but it’s mostly girls who are the victims of this horror. It happens mostly because of the following reasons:
1. Burden. Girl child is still being considered burden in certain areas and communities. Either they are killed before birth or after or they are married off pretty soon at the tender age so that the burden gets transferred to the new family
2. Patriarchy, class and customs. In most of the places still girl’s role is only being restricted to being a daughter, sister, wife or mother. Mainly because society don’t consider girls equal and always want them to live according to their wishes, which is called controlling attitude.
3. Poverty. Even when the family is poor, they try and get their daughters married at an early age mostly to lessen the liability.
What it does?
First, child marriage is illegal. It is nothing but a heinous crime. It not only make the child more and more vulnerable but will also have a bad influence on their mind and body. Sometimes two kids are not married to each other but mostly young girls are married to old men. This not only result in their exploitation emotionally but also physically.
1. Sexual Abuse. Their sexual life is affected due to exploitation at a young age, sexual abuse, violence, post-traumatic stress are a few to name which lead to a torturous life.
2. Mental trauma. At such tender age they don’t understand a thing and forced sex, pregnancy takes a tall on their body. Not only there are more cases of early maternal deaths, they are even prone to giving birth to unhealthy infants.
3. No education, No Life. Such marriages are a thing of communities who mostly don’t believe in education because if they were educated they would not have been doing this. Consequently, the child is not exposed to the bigger world too. With no education, they don’t have any life but only home of their husbands.
What’s the Government doing?
The government has taken certain initiatives in past e.g. Dhan Laxmi scheme and Apni Beti, Apna Dhan programme, Adolescents’ empowerment programmes, Regional campaigns and other initiatives which are been taken up as a part of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and UNICEF’s Global Programmes.
How we can support?
We can spread awareness. It’s the age of electronics and communication. We can with the government, NGO or even without them can hold camps in areas which are prone to such nuisance.
Let’s pledge to support and bring the change!
Child Marriage is a LOST Childhood
Do share your experiences, stories and if you have any ideas to help and support the cause in the comments section.
P.S. Support the cause, help prevent & prohibit child marriage. You can show some love via www.cry.org, log in and support CRY in its initiative.