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One of the major sociological problems, that has persisted for centuries in India, is the problem of child marriage. The reason for its continuations is an issue that needs to be revisited in the age and time when women’s empowerment is at its peak. For almost 70 years now, our Government has continued to tighten the laws to prevent this archaic practice. The is cruel to the children, as it deprives them of their basic rights. A study was conducted in some of the most politically active states in Northern India, in order to explore the proponents of child marriage. It is alarming that the problem is facing little resistance from the educated members of its society and why the modern voices opposed to this practice are being suppressed.
According to the older customs, the reason why Child Marriages exist in medieval societies was due to the Nagnika concept. In that, the parents were made to believe that they have to get their daughters married off before puberty, or else they would go to hell. Sadly, our Indian tradition places huge importance on virginity before the marriage. This custom has been prevalent till now. With the additional factors such as dowry, the parents feel like sending their daughters off as soon as possible. The evil of child marriage increases the chances of childbearing. The mothers below the age of 16 have to face an addition risks and responsibilities of childbearing. They also have to face an increased risk of maternal and infant mortality. In the house too, they have to face work in the household, which involves a wide range of activities such as processing new grains, cooking, and looking after children and older persons in the family. They have to do several hours of effort to collect firewood and water. They also engage in household production for supplementing family income, involve in increasing household assets by raising livestock, produce vegetables for household consumption. They play a major role in cultivation too.
So in the year 2021, if this is still happening, then we really have to do revolutionary changes. We have to challenge the culture that surrounds child marriage. Make parents and community members more enlightened about the issue. The youth should be told about the negative consequences of early marriage. Also, the role of the judicial system and the police should be a higher one on enforcement of the law against early marriage.