★ Let the Child be a Child, Stop Child Marriage. – Anonymous
Key Facts in India about Child Marriage-
● One in three of the world’s child brides live in India. Of the country’s 223 million child brides, 102 million were married before turning 15.
● Over half of Indian child brides live in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest population of child brides, with 36 million.
● Approximately one in four young women in India were married or in union before their 18th birthday.
● The prevalence of child marriage varies across states and union territories in India. Over 40 per cent of young women were married before turning 18 in Bihar and West Bengal, compared to less than 5 percent in Lakshadweep.
● A girl’s risk of child marriage depends on certain background characteristics. Girls who live in rural areas or come from poorer households are at greater risk, and a higher proportion of child brides are found among those with little or no education.
● The majority of young women who married in childhood gave birth as adolescents. Child brides go on to have larger families compared to women who marry later.
● India’s progress is strong compared to other countries in South Asia.
Nonetheless, if child marriage is to be eliminated by 2030, additional efforts will be required.
● Child marriage is less common among boys than girls, and the practice among boys could be eliminated by 2030 if progress is accelerated.
● Current state of child marriage among girls- India is home to 223 million child brides.
THE PROHIBITION OF CHILD MARRIAGE ACT 2006
Main Objective of Act
This Act is to prohibit solemnization of marriage where either the groom or the bride is below the marriageable age (18 years in case of girls and 21 years for boys). To ensure that child marriage is eradicated from the society.
● Child- A child is a person who has not completed 21 years in case of male and 18 years in case of female.
● Contracting party- Either of the parties whose marriage is or is about to be solemnized.
● Child marriage- A marriage in which either party is a child.
Offences and punishment under this Act
● Punishment for male adult- If an adult male who is above 18 years of age contracts child marriage, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for two years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or both.
● Punishment for solemnizing marriage- If a person performs, conducts, directs or abets any child marriage, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for two years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or both.
● Punishment for promoting / permitting solemnization of marriage- Any person having charge of the child whether parent or guardian or any other person including member of organization or association of persons who does any act to promote the passing or permit child marriage or negligently fails to prevent it from being solemnized, including attending or participating such marriage, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for upto two years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or both.
● Offence under this Act is cognizable and non bailable.Provided that no woman shall be punishable with imprisonment.
Officers and Their Duties
● To prevent child marriage by taking action.
● To collect evidence for effective prosecution of cases of child marriage.
● To advise the locals not to indulge in promoting or helping or allowing solemnization of child marriage.
● To create awareness of the evil of such child marriage.
● To sensitize the community on the issue.
Leading Cases Related to Child Marriage Prohibition
→ Lajja Devi v State
● The Delhi High court held that the PCMA prevails over personal laws.
→ Independent Thought v. Union of India
● In the landmark judgement; the Supreme Court of India on 11th October 2017 ruled that sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his minor wife would amount to rape for the purposes of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Court has read down Exception 2 to Section 375 which reads Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being below 15 years of age, is not rape to hold that sexual activity with a minor would constitute rape and the exception will not be applicable in cases where the wife is between the ages of 15-18.
Statistics of Child Marriages in Rajasthan
● As far as statistics on child marriage are concerned, a Report released by theNational Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in 2018 on India Child Marriage & Teenage Pregnancy (based on NFHS-4) found that Rajasthan has a 16.2% prevalence of child marriage which is very high compared to the national average of 11.9%. It also reported that although the state recorded more than 20% reduction in child marriage, it, however, still ranks among the top 12 states. It was also reported that the wealth index of households is significantly related to child marriage, with poorer households marrying off girls early. It is important to note that the social evil called child marriage results in girls missing from secondary schools, teenage pregnancies, worsening rates of maternal and child mortality and an increase in cases of anemia amongst women and girls.
Where to complaint on Child Marriage
● Call 1098, 1090 or 100
● Complaint can be directly made to Child Marriage Prohibition Officer.
● The nearest police station and Non-profit Organizations.
● To District Magistrate.
Organizations fighting Child Marriage in India
★ SATYARTHI FOUNDATION
★ SAARTHI TRUST
★ AANGAN TRUST
★ GIRLS NOT BRIDES
★ INSTITUTE OF HEALTH MANAGEMENT PACHOD(IHMP)
★ CHILD RIGHTS AND YOU (CRY) ORGANIZATION
Child Marriage is Curse for Country and Society. In Whole India many Organizations are fighting to Fully abolish child marriage in Society. Many laws and Act in India give punishment to people who still continue Child Marriage in society. There is maintenance and residential facilities provide those child which are married in early age by government and Non profit Organizations. It is duty of people to spread awareness in society about the bad things of child marriage and give proper education to Girl Child in Society.
→ References :
● UNICEF ORGANIZATIONS
● SATYARTHI ORGANIZATION
● INDIANKANOON ORG.
● NATIONAL COMMISION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS (NCPCR)
● NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY (NFHS)
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