Child Marriage Cases in India from 2016 to 2018


Hiked in the cases of Child Marriage from the year 2016 to 2018, While cases in Madhya Pradesh turn down

On 20 March Central Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani told about the major hike in Child Marriage cases from the year 2016 to 2018 in loksabha. She said in 2016, approx 326 cases of Child Marriage were registered, 395 cases in 2017, whereas massive increment in 2018 with 501 cases.

According to the report ‘Eliminating Child Marriage in India‘ released in 2017 by Action Aid India through analysing child marriage data of 2011 census. Every 3rd child bride in the world is an Indian, states the report.

 Madhya Pradesh was among top 5 states where child brides majorly reside, a report published by UNICEF ‘Ending the child marriage’ in 2016. But now with the efforts of Women and Child Development Madhya Pradesh cases turn down.

According to the current data delivered by Smriti Irani, Assam has registered 88 the highest number of child marriages cases in India, following 73 in Karnataka, 70 in West Bengal and 67 in Tamil Nadu.  Madhya Pradesh was not in the queue.

According to the NFHS-4, 32 per cent of women aged 20-24 years were married before the legal minimum age of 18, down from 57 per cent in NFHS-3. And 7 per cent of girls in the 15-19 age group had children as compared to 14 per cent during NFHS-3. Madhya Pradesh witnessed the sharp decline in child marriage cases, says the report.

Principal Secretary of Women and Child Development, Madhya Pradesh  Anupam Rajan said, WCD Department is constantly working to bring attitudinal change in parents and aware them regarding Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. More impact is been by the yajnas like Ladli Laxmi Yojna and Lado Abhiyan, as it incentivizes parents and girls to get married after the legal age.

He also added the efforts of other departments also help to turn down the count by providing facilities of sanitation in school, mass awareness regarding education and providing a free bicycle to higher classes girls as this helps a lot in decreasing the dropout rate of girls.

In within three months of the year 2020, many child marriage cases were put on stop by the efforts of Women and Child Development in Madhya Pradesh.

In Sagar district, more than 8 such cases were administered and stopped. Ranging from regions Jaruvakhed to Gadhakota, girls aged 14 to 16 are forcing to get married.  But the intervention of the Women and Child Department along with police Department had controlled the matter.

While talking to Supervisor of Women and Child Welfare Department of Kurwai district Rachna Rai said,  “15-year-old girl, whose marriage is scheduled to be held on 16 February is been stopped by our intervention”. She said Parents took this pathetic decision of Child Marriage for their daughter’s safety. Lack of proper knowledge, safety and security concern of daughter led poor parents to take these steps. She advised the protection of girl child should be tightened as such parents don’t hesitate and feel free to leave daughters at their home alone.  

 In Hoshangabad region Women and Child development project Manager Kamal Kumar had terminated child marriage a day before only, where a girl is two month and 10 days shorter from being 18.

All these cases were perceived from the rural areas as, the situation is even more acute here. According to the study, only less than a third of the girls in the same age group attend school. 5.8% of girls in the age group 6–17 years in rural areas dropped out of school as they got married.

Early marriage not only affect her mentally but physically too. It usually translates into repeated pregnancies at a tender age when the body is not fully prepared for childbearing. This also led to the birth of an unhealthy baby.  All these lead to the violation of Child Rights.

Child marriage is on a global development agenda because of its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. India’s progress in the past decades is one of the strongest among countries in South Asia. Women and child rights Department (WCD), Govt. Of MP, keeps an Eye on such malpractice and is always in action when to prevent all such activities.