Child Marriage in India: History, Laws, Effects & Reasons

Child Marriage in India — Laws, Effects & Reasons

Child Marriage in India

According to the law, the marriage of children before a certain age, i.e. a marriage of children at a young age is child marriage.

It is a traditional practice, which has been named child marriage. Child marriage leads to the violation of human rights of children.

In which their childhood is taken away from them and they are raised in a bond about which they have no knowledge at all. They don’t even have a clue, about what is happening with them.

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The victims of this practice are mostly young girls. Because in this not only the young girl is married to a young boy, but the younger girl is also married to an older boy.

This has serious side

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effects on their whole life, physically and mentally.

History of child marriage:

The history of child marriages is many centuries old. Some people say that it is practised from the Vedic period, and some say that it has been going on since medieval times.

And some say that when the foreign rulers came to India, they were gradually ruling India, at the time their daughters were married, to protect them against the enemy.

In fact, they married to protect their girls from exploits like sexual exploitation. Also, some historians say that this evil has been applied since the time of Delhi Sultanate.

Therefore, it is an ancient practice, which was carried forward by many generations, and due to which it is still practised in many places.

Reasons for child marriage:

There are many reasons for child marriage socially, economically and religiously. Here we are going to show you some of the major causes of child marriage.

Gender Inequality and Discrimination:

In many communities, where child marriage is predominant, girls are not respected as much as boys, girls are seen as a burden by their family members.

They believe that by marrying their daughter at a young age, they should burden their husband so that they can reduce their financial straits.

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Also, how girls should behave, how they should dress, who should be allowed to seek marriage, controlling girls for all these things is also a symptom of child marriage.

Girls are subjected to discrimination, domestic violence and at the same time, they are forced to marry due to the scarcity of food and all this is due to their lack of access to information, education and health.

Tradition:

Some people see it as a tradition. In many places, this happens simply because people say it is a practice that has been going on for generations.

At the time, when the young girls start their menstruation, they become women according to the community and they wed her at an early age and give her the status of wife and mother.

Poverty:

Poverty is also the main reason for child marriage. It is seen more in people from a poor family that they get their daughters married as quickly as possible.

Because they are financially weak, they feel that as soon as possible to get the girl married, they will not have to spend much in their education, health and marriage.

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People from poor families focus more on educating boys than girls. It is also a reason for child marriage.

Some poor families take loans to run their own home, or if they get into a dispute, to deal with such cases, they can get their girls married in such a house and at a young age.

Also, if a girl from a poor family is young and illiterate, she will have to pay less for dowry, so they soon marry girls.

Insecurity:

Many guardians wed their girls to a young or older boy, as they feel it, as their greatest advantage. They make this move to protect young girls from dangers, such as harassment, physical or sexual abuse.

Inadequate laws:

There are many countries where there are laws against child marriage, but this is not fully applicable.

Muslims have certain laws like Shia and Hazara, including child marriage. In the same way, some people of the community make laws on their own and promote practices like child marriage.

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All of these are some of the main causes of child marriage, the consequences of which can be very dangerous.

Effects of Child Marriage in India:

Rights denied: The biggest effect of child marriage is that the rights that girls should get are denied. They are forced to learn housework at an early age.

Childhood snatching: This is the practice where children take away their childhood. In playing day, girls are assigned a responsibility which they are not known.

Due to which their mental and emotional development is not possible.

Illiteracy: Girls are kept uneducated or they have to leave education in between, due to child marriage.

Also, if she is not educated, she is not able to help her family in financial difficulties, as well as she is not able to educate her children.

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Diseases: If girls get married at an early age, they too can fall prey to sexual diseases like HIV.

Due to marriage at an early age, girls become pregnant at an early age, even though they do not know anything about it, but they start having sex with girls at an early age, it also has a very bad effect on girls.

Becoming an Early Mother: Becoming an early mother is one of the most prominent influences of child marriage.

To be a mother it is very important to be mentally and physically healthy, so marrying girls early makes them an early mother, which can endanger the health of both mother and child.

Due to this their children also become weak, which can cause many diseases.

According to research, it has been found that girls under the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to die during delivery than girls over the age of 20. In such cases, infant mortality is also very high.

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How to stop child marriage:

Many efforts have been made to make people aware of and prevent such practices towards them. And today we are showing information about some such efforts which are still being done today:

Educating Girls: To make girls aware of their rights, it is necessary to educate them, as this will make them easier to understand how they forced marriage will affect their future.

Empowerment of girls: To fight against this practice, it is necessary that girls become strong, confident.

They have to strengthen themselves to fight against the injustice happening to them and at the same time girls should be self-sufficient so that no one considers them a burden on themselves.

For this reason, it is necessary that girls get an education and work towards empowering themselves.

Educating parents and community members: The task of deciding the marriage of any girl is done by the girl’s parents or people of the community.

They do not even know about its law and they decide the marriage of their daughters at an early age, but if they are educated, they will come to know about all things.

Supporting the law against it: In today’s time, many laws have been enacted to fight against child marriage.

As the marriage age limit of boys and girls has been fixed, in addition, lawbreakers are also punished.

Financial Assistance: In today’s times, many such schemes are being made, which provide financial assistance to poor families for their girl’s care and marriage so that they do not consider their girls a burden.

Today, the government is providing financial assistance ranging from education of girls to marriage and childbearing. This has significantly reduced child marriages compared to earlier.

Supporting anti-child marriage organizations: In order to end this evil, organizations have been formed in many places against it, which spread awareness among the people about their side effects.

Laws for child marriage in India:

Different laws have been enacted in different countries to prevent child marriage. Here we are going to talk about the law for child marriage in India which is as follows:

Child Marriage Act 1929:

In 1929, a law was made against child marriage for the first time, which was implemented in the entire country on the first date of April in 1930! The goal of this law was to end the ill effects caused by girls.

The following rules were enforced in this law as follows:

Under this law, the marriage age limit was set at a minimum of 21 years for men and 18 years for women. Before marriage, is considered as child marriage and punishment will be given.

A person between 18 and 21 years of age has a 15 days jail sentence and a fine of Rs 1000 for child marriage. However, after this law came into force, it was amended several times.

Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006:

To address some of the shortcomings of the law made for child marriage, the Government of India enacted the Child Marriage Prohibition Act in 2006, which came into force on 1 November 2007.

According to this act, child marriage should not only be stopped, but it should be abolished completely.

In the previous act, taking action against child marriage was difficult and time-consuming, as well it was not fully implemented.

Therefore, as per the 2006 Act, there was no change in the age limit, but some changes were made to protect the children as written below:

Under this law, minor boys and girls are forced into child marriages and are given the option to break their marriage before or after being an adult for 2 years.

With this, at the end of the marriage, the girl’s in-laws are required to return all valuable items, money and gifts received in the dowry and the girl is provided with a place to live until she is an adult.

In addition, a child born from child marriage is considered legitimate and courts are also required to give custody to their parents keeping in mind the child’s interest.

Apart from this, the jail sentence has been increased from 3 months to 2 years with a fixed penalty has also been imposed.

However, after this law came into force, Muslim organizations refused to accept it, but still, this law is applicable throughout the country.

Also, read 1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao 2. Value education 3. Women empowerment

Conclusion for Child Marriage:

The practise of child marriage has historical roots in India and several countries and is still practised today, despite that these countries are far more different.

There are significant similarities to the ongoing of this dangerous abuse of young girls in that culture’s struggle with poverty and place great importance on the purity of women, while male-controlled views are devastating in societies.

Therefore, due to efforts to raise voice against child marriage and to end this practice, it has reduced considerably in today’s time. Hopefully, it will be completely finished in the coming time, it is necessary to raise voice against child marriage.

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