Friday, June 21, 2013

A Step Against Child Marriage, A Vile Practice.

        One of the social vices our country has been suffering from since medieval ages is Child Marriage. UNICEF defines Child Marriage as a formal marriage or union before 18 years of age. UN Women defines  Child Marriage as a forced marriage before 18 years of age because they believe children under age 18 are incapable of giving their consent.
In India, we also have a law that prohibits this practice; The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.
And yet, with many justifications given to this ill practice, Child Marriage or Bal Vivaah, is still observed in many parts of India.
Though there has been a decline in the practice, according to UNICEF, 47% of girls are married by 18 years of age, and 18% are married by 15 years of age. The highest rate is found in states like; Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, with 68.9 percent of the marriages in Bihar involving girls below the age of 18. (Source: UNICEF). Although both minor boys and girls are victimized in Baal Vivaah, girls are the worse to face the consequences.

Nature has timed everything and going against nature always results in disaster. A tender mind and a raw body of a child are still in the process of molding. It is for to nurture and develop with time and not for to get forced into an adult institution like marriage. In a marriage a person is required to get involved not only physically but also mentally and emotionally with responsibilities of a spouse and a family; a child cannot be pushed in such a bond. Childhood is about studying, playing, discovering new possibilities and inventing dreams...and not about how to be a good spouse or how to take care of a family.

People advocating this custom don't see its harsh consequences. Child Marriage leads to;
Domestic violence; a study shows young girls are subjected to domestic violence more than older women.
Pregnancy related deaths; a girl's body isn't ready to conceive before 19.
Infant Deaths; children born to minors are more likely to die in their first year.
...and many more.

Yet, social and political dogma has kept Child Marriage practice alive. It's breathing amongst us even in this age, strangulating so many innocent lives with its vile vines.

Since ages we have been reasoned as to why people must get their children hitched at an early age.
Reasons like:
To guarantee a deep alliance between two families (Military alliances in medieval
India).
To ensure their girls are protected against abduction and rape by foreign rulers.
For monitory gain by getting one of the girl children married to a much older man of fortune in exchange of money. (Occurring in poor families)
To avoid children getting themselves a spouse from different caste thus, polluting their community.
To put a leash to young minds so they don't get involved in casual sexual relationship.

-A shameful bunch of reasons for a wicked act.

In 12th grade, I experienced an unsuccessful attempt to make a classmate's parents stop from getting her married at the age of 16. Worse part was, the girl herself justified it and stopped me from countering her family. I never heard from her after her wedding. I don't know what became of her; I pray for her being an exception and living a happy & healthy life.
And today, after so many years, using my blog as a platform and this opportunity given by 
Ring The Bell For Indichange, I am taking a step to bring a change in the society, even if it effects a single family, I will know I have made a difference & I would urge my readers to come forward and take steps no matter how small it is, to destroy this vice called Child Marriage. More than this, I here by make a promise to myself to take this cause further in every possible way.


A well balanced growth of every individual leads to a healthy and a rich society and to achieve that children must receive what is rightfully theirs; right to live their childhood.



 Please visit BELL BAJAO for bringing in change from your side.

24 comments:

  1. One of the biggest problems in our country. I think we should even increase the minimum age level of marriage too.

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    Replies
    1. I agree.. the legal age to get married should be increased.

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  2. I do realise the pain you must have gone through with that classmate incident. Something similar happened to me(no no I didnt get married at 18 someone i knew was getting :D) well Namrota its simplicity with which you have mentioned the evil and its effect makes the post just that much more powerful. Indichange is no doubt a great initiative

    Richa

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    1. The incident bites me whenever I recall it. I really hope this initiative helps, even if its just one person.

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  3. It is a very serious issue and whatever attempts one takes, they are always going to come to naught if there is no literacy, and by literacy, I mean the sexual kind. Till there is no information given to such people, they will not know the error of their ways. Even that might fl short of doing the job because staunch and orthodox people still outnumber the illuminated and modern Indians today.

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    1. Brendan, there are so many issues related to this.. in fact its a vicious cycle and every issue needs attention.

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  4. Education is the main key to eradicate such violence,Once you are educated you will be wise enough to hold on to your Morals...I think we should all come out together hand in hand spreading awareness among our fellow citizens,It has become indeed necessary...

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    1. Education is indeed the stepping stone, but there are many other reasons, like social mindset that has got carved in people's mind. Such people need to have a realization from within.

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  5. Replies
    1. Which needs to be dealt with in a sincere manner.

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  6. A social evil that has to be taken off from its roots. Nicely told Namrota.

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    1. It surely does ...Thanks Indrani :)

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  7. Women need to stand by self and women ... I feel this sincerely .. almost half the misery of a woman comes from other woman!
    having said that, i dont want to put the basked of ill all on womankind .. and male dominated society has promoted ills just to keep its position intact !
    But the norm of ages need to change! the problems girls face due to early marriage can be explained to people who are willing to. We still have about 40% of India which is a pure cattle crowd !! they just behave like they do not understand anything beyond what they have been taught to do since ages !!
    Literacy is the only weapon to counter the issue ! It is lot better than before all thanks to increasing literacy level among fellow Indians and it has to be carried on with more speed !

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    1. Indeed Jack... and I agree, Women need to stand by self and women.

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  8. Very well written article...Not only in rural area, child marriage is more common then we acknowledge in Urban India also..It is not limited to a region or geography as commonly perceived...We need correct education and a way to break away from traditional myths!!!

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    1. Indeed... though some areas are more effected every region must be equally dealt with.

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  9. A very informative article, I support the cause and your attempt at creating awareness. Thanks

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    1. Thank you for the support comboupdates.

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  10. Even if the girl does get married early, she should not stop her education. It's her education that's the best investment for her future.

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    Replies
    1. Of course, but how early is right for a girl to get married is also a question.

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  11. The problem still persists. Mostly in the rural areas, people fail to understand the dire consequences.

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    Replies
    1. Yup. Sad part is... that we are still discussing this in 2013.

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  12. You can be the poster girl for this campaign.

    "Me, Namrota still unmarried at 35. Then why marry off a girl half my age :O "

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