Child Marriage in India: The Problem and The Cure

Child Marriage in India

Introduction

Our country India has always been known to the world for its diverse cultural enrichments. But, the legacies from our past beliefs also bore with it some evil practices to the society that we are still dealing with. And one of those practices is the child marriage. The seeds of the problem are still buried so deep in the society and the mind of its people, that it stands alone as a huge socio-cultural challenge till today.

Historic Background

The Vedic history of India dated back to from 200 BC to 700 AD, scribes the marriage as a freedom of choosing desired partner for both men and women. But, with the formation of Government and political modification due to multiple invasions in Medieval India, the women lost their rights to education and choosing their partner and rather were subjected to obey rules and the code of behaviour. Though, age at which the girl was to be married differed and it was rare for girls younger than 12 to be married in antiquity however it became increasingly common for girls as young as six or eight to be married as young brides or “Valika Vadhu”. The parents decided on the marriages of their children at a very early age although the daughter stayed with her parents until she attained the age of puberty. Reaching to which she was bid off to her in-laws through ‘Gehna’ ceremony, in Rajasthan. While in Bengal, this practice was known as ‘Koulinya Pratha’ where a girl child was often married off to an old ‘Kulin Brahmin’ which later on led her to be ‘Sati’ after his husband’s death.

Laws against Child Marriage

The Child Marriage problem in India was first addressed during the British Era. The Child Marriage Restraint act was established in 1929 and come to force in 1930, which defined the minimum ages of marriage for men and women as 18 and 14 years respectively. However, after India’s independence, the minimum age of marriage for women was increased to 15 years. In 1978, the ages of both men and women were revised again to 21 and 18 years. In 2006, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act came in force, though it was Inapplicable to the Muslim community. Recently in December 2021, Union Cabinet approved to raise the minimum age of marriage for women to 21 years.

The plea is getting stronger.

The Situation in Current Times and the Consequences

Though there are active laws against Child Marriage, but this practice is still ghostly being performed in various parts of India. According to a survey by UNICEF in 1998, the Child Marriage rate in India is 47%, while by UN reports it to be 30% in 2005. Jharkhand has been found to hold the highest rate while Kerala possess the lowest rate in India. Rural Child Marriage cases were found 3 times higher than Urban ares in India in 2009. The consequences of the evil practice, leave many young women shattered for their entire life. Child Marriages have reported a large number of non-consensual marital rapes, physical abuse and domestic violence, low rates of women literary, deaths during childbirth and post natal problems of both underage mothers and newborns.

Our Take: Fighting for a Social Cause

In this modern Era, India is emerging fast as an United country, with largely powered new age youths. And the present generation can give a tremendous change from the society. The situation is already getting better with more to children and giving equal opportunity to both in order to eradicate the practice completely citizens showing their responsibility male and female children. Bachao,Beti Padhao” movement The Government’s “Beti has stirred up the thoughts of young Indian people With many small initiatives, in every state, for a better future. the idea of going along with everyone with equal opportunities are being accepted by Indian parents for marrying their sons and daughters age. The priorities are being given to qualify for a good education and career build up at a matured before getting married.

The youths’ take is most important.

Conclusion

The citizens are the pillars of society and the future lies on the hand responsibility to work together to effort gets counted when we should try our best to improve of every citizen. It is our make our society even better and free from any evil practices. Every work together for a larger cause. more for a better India. The progress so far is appreciable and we