Child Marriage in India basically originated to prevent the girl child from being taken away by the conquerors of the nation. Child Marriage means that a girl or a boy gets betrothed to her partner even as a child purely at the consent of the parents. Two primary reasons for Child Marriages in India is lack of education and poverty. The appalling consequences of child marriages include pregnancy- related deaths , child mothers not able to provide proper infant care, subjected to domestic violence.
Every Citizen in this country has a role to protect and uphold the future citizens, the now Children. Balika Vadhu one of the most watched melo-drama, showcased how Child Marriages are a bane to human race and the country. As a dutiful citizen, each of us should make the children understand their human rights. Create awareness and give the child appropriate contact information to seek contacts when their cry of refusal is denied ears. This would therefore abolish child marriage in India and create a safe environment to nurture the future of the country. Marriage is a very responsible and sacred way of uniting two people who are matured and ready to accept each other.
But child marriage in India is something that is a really unethical way of uniting people, who are not only immature but also does not understand the real responsibility behind the phenomenon. Indian law has assigned a minimum age of eighteen for girls and twenty-one for boys to legally get married. This law was passed due to the increased reporting of child marriages in India. Mainly girl children are forced to fall into child marriage in India as they are discriminated in the society because of their gender. Child marriages in India were considered by parents as a way of saving their child from abuses and other difficulties they face from the outside world.
They get on with handling more responsibilities than they even know about and many cases have been reported against this child marriage in India. The girl child is made to move out of her own house at such a young age due to child marriage in India, and live completely among strangers. She is forced to do all the household chores and other more difficult responsibilities. Domestic violence and forced sexual abuses are also major problems due to child marriage in India. Not only girls but boys are also forced for such inhumanity.
Child marriage in India is more dominant in rural areas where proper education and awareness should be spread to stop this cruelty. Child Marriage in India is a centuries old tradition. When the census reported brides in the age group of one to twelve months, Mahatma Gandhi was shocked. That was the first step taken against child marriage in India. It fixed the age of marriage for girls at 14 years and boys at 18 years. Since then many reformers and stakeholders have been advocating against child marriage in India.
Since bygone days, the dignity and reputation of families in India were heavily dependent on the chastity of their daughters. To uphold the honour, child marriage in India was prevalent at a tender age before puberty. Due to poverty, many poor parents wished to see off their daughters through marriage at early years. Further, poor families also found it cheaper to conduct child marriages than adult marriages. So, the various reasons for child marriage in India include tradition, poverty, illiteracy and social pressures.
The victims of child marriage in India are often uneducated. They do not have a broad view of their life with respect to the world. So, they often tend to pass this tradition to future generations, out of ignorance. Due to the early marriage, these children often experience unprecedented responsibilities, suffer discontinuation of education, deterioration of health etc. Since they are physically and psychologically not ready for a married life, their childhood is frustrated with hardships of life.
The latest effort to prevent child marriage in India is the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in October All along, men who raped their minor wives were protected by the law. But, according this latest judgment, sexual act with a child bride has been criminalised.
This is a definite step to curb child marriage in India. Since , it has become mandatory to register marriages in order to prevent child marriage in India. The public has been encouraged to report child marriages and non-registered marriages in order to keep violations in check. Various sensitization programs are carried out to educate the parents and the public against child marriage in India. So, the International community expects a radical change in India than any other country.
With dreams to become a superpower in the near future, it has become imperative to put an end to child marriage in India. India is surging on its way to become a superpower, but it is a startling reality that an age old evil practice called child marriage still prevails in the country. India has the second highest number of child marriages according to a United Nations report. According to the law in India marriageable age is18 years for girls and 21 years for boys.
Child marriage in India should be seen as an exploitation of human right. This evil tradition has existed in India for a long time. Another social reason to initiate child marriages was that the elders wanted to see the growth of their family with respect to the number of children as it characterized their status. Poor people practiced child marriage to get rid of their loans, taxes, whereas some people instigated it to fetch lump sum dowry. Child marriage in India imposes huge household responsibilities, especially on innocent girl children who are not mentally and physically prepared for it.
Boys who are still minors are forced to bear critical financial responsibilities and the whole family. Child marriage in India snatches the innocent childhood and the freedom to play and learn from these kids. This evil practice incubates a greater risk of contracting sexual diseases like HIV. Girls who get married at a very young age are less likely to be aware about pregnancy and correlated topics.
A baby born to such mother is more likely to suffer from ailments like malnutrition. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, eradicate the flaws in previously present laws. The act strictly prohibits the marriage of a girl under eighteen years of age and a boy below twenty-one years of age. Under this law, the children have the choice to declare their marriage as annulled up to two years of reaching adulthood.
A foremost hindrance in curbing the evil practice is that most of these marriages are not registered and are carried out informally. Marriage is a sacred union between two mature individuals who are in consensus with each other to share responsibilities and take care of each other for a lifetime. Child Marriages happen to be an illogical institution that has prevailed in the country, despite all the development and growth that the country has witnessed over the time.
It needs to be understood that poverty and lack of education are the major factors that undermine the efforts to end this menace. As a responsible citizen of India we must contribute to the fullest to eradicate this evil practise by immediately reporting to the police when one hears of child marriage taking place.
Child marriage in India is a disturbing truth that still exists in the nation. Marriage is an institution in which two mature persons agree to live with each other by sharing their responsibilities equally. But, child marriage in India is totally opposed to it. Child marriage in India is an informal or formal wedding amongst two persons in which the male is below 21 years of age and the girl is below 18 years of age. It is also considered as the misuse of civil rights because it is a kind of an involuntary wedding. There is a long history behind the child marriage in India.
It exists from the eras when the empire structure was predominant. The child marriage in India was also utilized as a weapon to keep the girls safe from rapes and kidnap by foreign sovereigns. During child marriage in India, the immature girl kid needs to leave her home forcefully and have to live in a new home with lots of responsibilities.
At such a small age, the girl who is not mentally mature has to take the huge responsibilities of the home. Child marriage in India also results in a depression in the kids. Besides the girl child, the male child is also not so much capable of taking full responsibility of her wife and also the expenses of running a family. Childhood gets vanished at the time of child marriage in India. In fact, the independence of playing and learning is also stolen in the practice.
Save Girl Child Essay(Beti Bachao Beti Padhao) In Very Easy Words
There are extreme risk aspects that are associated with child marriage in India, such as, getting STDs sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. Girl child does not have much knowledge about pregnancy and babies of these small girls are more probable to health issues like low birth weights malnutrition, etc. The following steps should be taken to spread social awareness about child marriage in India:.
Children have to be taught regarding their civil rights. They should know that when to decline and protest against the forceful child marriage. Media can also play an important role in making people aware of child marriage in India. They can telecast some television programs or shows about this monstrous ritual which can create a massive change in the attitude of the people. There should be strict laws and legal provision against the child marriage in India that can stop this evil from occurring. People indulging in such marriages should be punished reasonably by the law. Government organizations and NGOs should work together to decelerate the practice of child marriage in India.
The current provision of punishment for child marriage in India is a few months along with some amount of fine which is completely insufficient. The severity of punishment should also increase to tackle this problem. There should be an appointment of officers for the anti-child wedding in every single Indian State.
There should be a rule that anybody who appears in child marriage in India must inform about it to the concerning officer for stopping this disaster to happen. Child marriage in India should be abolished and this can only be done if people become aware of the massive consequences of this evil. Child marriage not only spoils the childhood of the kids but also their coming future.
As per Indian law, a girl before the age of 18 and a boy before the age of 21 are not considered eligible to marry. Any such disobedience is considered as child marriage and is regarded as unlawful and is a punishable offence. However, the law of terming child marriage as a punishable offence is relatively new with having come into existence just a few years before India gained independence from the British rule.
Prior to it, child marriage was an accepted social practice prevalent in almost all parts of the country. The origin of the practice of child marriage is not known, though it is believed to have been commonly practised across the world before the 19 th century. Girls, as soon as they attained puberty were required to be married off. This finds a reference in the Dharamsatra as well. Additionally, there is a mention in Manusmriti that it is an offence on part of the parents to marry off a girl before she has attained puberty or if it has been more than three years after she has attained puberty.
Similarly, a boy is required to be married off before he attained the age of 16 years. It has long been associated with child marriage in India.
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Most adolescent girls in India have little knowledge of menstruation, sexuality, and reproduction. Large numbers of rural and urban populations believe that menstruation contaminates the body and makes it unholy. In certain cultures, girls are isolated in a separate room for 3 days and are untouchable during this period. As a consequence, the girl often sees herself as impure, unclean, and dirty. Even before menarche, the onset of puberty by itself decreases autonomy and mobility, with increasing restrictions on clothes, appearance, conduct, speech, and interaction with the opposite sex.
After marriage, husband and in-laws control her life. In certain communities, girls are taught to walk with a downward gaze. In India, early marriage of girls has received religious and social sanctions. Despite the laws increasing the legal age of marriage to 18 for girls, there are strong cultural pressures on parents to marry daughters early.
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The median age at first marriage among women, 20—49, in India is In urban areas of India, only half of girls between 15 and 17 years of age attend school. This further exposes them to a higher risk of domestic violence and abuse, increased economic dependence, denial of decision-making power, inequality at home, which further perpetuates discrimination, and low status of girls. Early marriage usually translates into repeated pregnancies at a tender age when the body is not fully prepared for childbearing.
Girls age 15—19 are more likely In India, violence within the home is universal across culture, religion, class, and ethnicity. Girls face violence at the hands of their husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles in their homes. It may also include rape and sexual abuse. Psychological violence includes verbal abuse, harassment, confinement, and deprivation of physical, financial, and personal resources.
They are often caught in a vicious circle of economic dependence, fear for their children's lives as well as their own, ignorance of their legal rights, lack of confidence in themselves, and social pressures.
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These factors effectively force women to a life of recurrent mistreatment from which they often do not have the means to escape. The sanctity of privacy within the family also makes authorities reluctant to intervene, often leading women to deny that they are being abused. This is equally common in the higher as well as in the lower segments of the society. Domestic violence has devastating repercussions on the family. Mothers are unable to care for their children properly.
Often they transmit to them their own feelings of low self-esteem, helplessness, and inadequacy. Trafficking in its broad sense includes the exploitation of girls by pushing them into prostitution, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, and trade in human organs. In case of children who have been trafficked or have become victims of child marriages, it violates their right to education, employment, and self-determination. In the existing social scenario in India, vulnerability is a product of inequality, low status, and discrimination, and of the patriarchal authority unleashed on children, especially the girl child.
This is further compounded by the apathetic attitude of society, fuelled by a mindset which views women as mere assets with no freedom of choices and options to lead a life with dignity. They are taking greater care in bringing up daughters. Another way by which girls are forced into prostitution is in the name of custom. Abuse and violence against girls in the society may contribute to the development of dysfunctional behaviour, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, somatization disorders, etc. It is also documented that girls tend to somatize and dissociate more owing to their status in authoritarian patriarchal society.
Teen girls used to be less likely to be abusers of alcohol and drugs than boys, but they are catching up. The major causes for drug addiction among girls are peer pressure, stress, family disputes, failure in life, examination stress, unhealthy novelty seeking, love affairs, and psychiatric disorders. This is especially because youth is a time for experimentation and identity formation.
Unfortunately, the majority are out of school and have limited choices available for the future. They are caught in the cycle of early marriage, repeated pregnancy, and poverty. Industrialization, liberalization, and urbanization, and female foeticide have brought about some obvious changes in stereotyped concepts of masculinity and femininity, affecting household composition, residence patterns, specific kinship relationships, and male and female attitudes and behavior.
Family and society together can lead girls toward the positive psychology of increasing optimism, strong social connections, and healthy self-confidence. Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None declared. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Indian J Psychiatry v. Indian J Psychiatry. Prasad Rao , K. Vidya , and V. Prasad Rao. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Address for correspondence: Dr. E-mail: moc. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract India has one of the fastest growing youth populations in the world. Keywords: Discrimination, gender, girl, psychology. Female Infanticide in Tamilnadu: Some Evidence. Economic and Political Weekly. Chowdhury A, Patnaik MM. Understanding the Indian family tree; the gender perspective.
Int J Multidiscip Manage Stud. Census of India. Bumiller E.
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New Delhi: Penguin Books; Larsen M. Sweden: Gothenburg University; Daughter discrimination in modern South India: The role of family structure, maters dissertation. Personality in Introduction to Psychology; pp.