Innocence lost

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Photograph by: Rakesh  JV

In 2010, 67 million women around the world had been married before the age of 18. If this trend continues, 142 million girls will be married before their 18th birthday over the next decade. That’s an average of 14.2 million girls per year.

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Photograph by: Stephanie Sinclair

Count to three, and another young girl is forced into marriage somewhere in the world. According to data, a young girl gets forced into marriage every three seconds worldwide. Yes, forced child marriage is a reality not just in India but also in many countries around the world. In fact, India is one amongst 13 nations worldwide with some of the highest prevalence of child marriage.

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Source: Reuters

But the problem of Child Marriage is often neglected or overlooked, whenever we talk about women’s rights or children rights. Reason? We don’t see child marriages happening around us in towns and cities and thus we assume child marriages don’t happen anymore. But sadly the practice is still prevalent in our rural areas.

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Photo by: Stephanie Sinclair

Minor boys too are a victim of child marriage, although in most cases we see the alliance of a much older man with a minor girl, we also have incidents where the groom and the bride are both below 18 years of age.

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Photo by: Danish Siddiqui

Child Marriage also brings along early pregnancies which could be dangerous for both the female and her child. These underage mothers at a high risk of dying during childbirth, thus adding to the already high Maternal Mortality Rate of our country.

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Photo by: Stephanie Sinclair

The girls married early in their life are also at the risk of multiple pregnancies being unaware of reproductive health or their right to decide when and how many children to have. Given their young age, they are powerless in their marital homes. This takes a huge toll on their health and that of their children.

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Its time we put an end to it, we stand and fight against this social evil existing in our country. The children deserve to study and live life free of the complexities of marriage. Child Marriage is a crime, punishable by law.


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Source: www.tooyoungtowed.org

We at LEAF are working towards helping girls in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu, who are victims of child marriage. We work for their rehabilitation, education and in some cases, reunion with their families. 

Ekta is a Mass Communication graduate from University of Delhi and is currently pursuing a diploma in Spanish language. An avid reader, she loves reading fiction and dreams of travelling the whole world.

 

 

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One thought on “Innocence lost

  1. Pingback: Human Rights in India | Leadership through Education and Action Foundation Society

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