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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Child marriage in India

Child marriage means that two children are forced to marry each other with the consent of the two families. The children are forced into the institution of marriage without knowing about its significance in the long run.

Though parents are of the opinion that they involve their children in such rituals because it is an age old custom and it will also secure the future of their children but the reality is not so. Though in some cases parents believe in such superstitions and dogmas in other cases greed is the most significant factor.
How can a girl’s future become secured if she gets married to a man who is 60 years of age while the girl herself is barely 14 or 15? Only their parent’s future will be secured with the amount of money the man and his family pay in return of the girl.
This heinous crime cannot be termed as marriage it is simply selling of the girl child. The man will molest her at a tender age and at the same time he will kiss death pretty soon. The girl will end up being so horrified with the custom of marriage that she will dare not enter the institution again. A whole future filled with frustration and anger will result thereby.
The sad news is that the institution of child marriage is still present in India in a number of villages and districts. Though the government has taken strict actions and child marriage has been declared as a big crime, still this practise is prevalent till today.
The question that arises is that what can be done to stop this hidden crime? Apart from the measures taken by the government it is essential for colleges and other institutions like non- government organizations to make certain moves. It is advisable to approach such villages and districts and educate the parents about the ill- effects of child marriage. Though it is not easy to make them understand easily but you never know that which activity or step of yours can change their minds at any point of time.
Short films, live plays can be shown to them and the moral behind these plays should obviously show the pathetic future of the kids who are forced to get married. More and more schools should be set up in such villages as a result of which people will sooner or later get their children admitted in schools. Such people should also be informed about the punishment given by the law and order of the country in an exaggerated way so that they get immensely scared even before thinking about such a crime. It is also advisable on the part of the government to take as strict actions as possible in order to abolish this institution completely.
The path is tough but victory can be achieved if strict actions are taken. College students as a part of their college campaign can visit such villages and personally talk to the mothers of children explaining the ill- effects of child marriage in the lives of their children. It is easier to make a mother explain the problems her child would face because women are soft by nature. India is a developing nation and aims to become a developed nation in the near future, but can a developed nation have brides and grooms who have not yet attained adulthood. It is impossible for India to become a developed nation if child marriage is not abolished.
Government should start an inquiry in such districts and villages and the homes where married couples under the age of 18 and 21 for a girl and a boy respectively are found, strict actions should be taken. The girl should be sent to her parent’s home and both the parents of the couple should be punished. There are places where mere words cannot change an individual’s heart. It is only strict action in the form of punishment that can alter their minds.
The sooner this institution of child marriage is abolished the better for the whole nation. It is true that the percentage of child marriage has dropped over the years but still this institution exists. All the citizens should join hands to abolish this practice to make India a better place to live in.

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