Child marriage is a curse. It snatches away childhood from children’s life. Child marriages has been prevailing in our country since a long time. India is estimated to have over 24 million child brides. 40% of the world’s 60 million child marriages take place in India according to the National Family Health Survey. The most common reasons for underage marriages includes poverty, illiteracy, financial constraints, religious and social traditions. Most of the girls drop out from schools and colleges without completing their education and are married off to men. Having incomplete education makes them financially dependent on their husband and limits their activities to performing house chores and raise their kids. Married teenage girls who are uneducated are more prone to sexual and domestic abuse than married adult and educated woman. The government of India has proposed raising the minimum legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. Currently, the minimum legal age for women to marry is 18 years and the same for men is 21 years. The bill has not been passed yet due to resistance from several parties.
Despite of all these efforts many girls in rural areas are married much before the age of eighteen, they become mothers at an early age when their bodies are not even ready for it, citing several health issues. Child marriage is a violation of human rights and child rights and is clearly a punishable offence.