Throughout the past few years people have raised their voices against various socially unacceptable practices but still a lot of work remains undone. One such practice is CHILD MARRIAGE. As per the Indian law any marriage where either the woman is below 18 years of age or the man is below 21 years of age is regarded as child marriage. Despite the presence of such laws child marriages are prevalent in the rural parts of the country. These conservative practices mess up the future of young children who are forced to live with a relation which is formed against their wishes.
According to some religious faiths the father is said to have wronged his daughter in case she is not married right after attaining puberty. The fear of dowry also instigates the parents to marry their daughters as it is believed that the younger the daughter the lesser the dowry. More often than not due to poverty the parents get their children married hoping to give them better future. Poverty induces the parents to marry their sons so that they can earn something in dowry. In many parts of the country there are community laws in existence which force people to indulge into such practices.
Child marriages devastate the future of young children. In many cases it leads to pregnancy related deaths since young girls are unable to give birth to a child at such a tender age. Even if the mother and the child live the child is likely to die within one year of birth due to problems like low birth weight and malnutrition. Higher fertility rates in child marriages lead to an increase in the population. The people in rural areas find it difficult to earn for a living which makes their children live a life of drudgery. In many child marriages women have to face domestic violence which shatters their confidence and destroys their future.
There are various laws which have been enacted to stop this practice. The need of the hour is to educate people about the existence of such laws so that they can take an action against it if they are subjected to child marriage. The awareness about the effect of early marriages on the lives of children should be penetrated in the rural areas so that people stop these practices.
To give rural children better future and for the development of rural areas it is imperative that these practices cease to exist.
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