From a sociological point of view, marriage is an institution that gives legitimacy to the relationship established between two opposite sexes.
There has never been any practice like child marriage in Indian society, this practice was later adopted from the point of view of women’s safety, due to which the then society did not even consider it wrong, but when we are talking about the 21st century, it is our It is a matter of misfortune that in India, girls are still married at a very young age.
Section-2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, gives the definition of a child, according to which child means less than 21 years for a male and less than 18 years for a female, while Section-2 of the same Act (b) also defines child marriage, according to which if either of the parties to the marriage is a child, then that marriage will be a child marriage.1
Micro-study of West Bengal, Bihar, Tripura:
According to the National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21, 40% of women in India’s West Bengal Bihar Tripura state were married before the age of 18.2
Matrima, the portal of the health department in West Bengal, released some statistics according to which 17% of pregnant women in West Bengal are women whose age is less than 21 years3 while according to the National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21 In West Bengal, the percentage of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 becoming pregnant or becoming a mother is 19.6% in rural areas and 8.5% in urban areas.4
According to UNICEF and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Organization (OHCHR), both child marriage and forced marriage are violations of human rights, since most child marriages are done in the context of women, it directly affects those women and girls. rights are violated.
If a woman becomes pregnant at a young age, it is not only a violation of the rights of that woman but also a violation of the rights of the unborn child, who may be physically and mentally underdeveloped. Due to premature marriage, women have to bear many types of exploitation, violence etc.
The female literacy percentage in India is still very low as compared to males in states like Bihar so it is in a very pathetic condition according to National Family Health Survey-5 2019-21 female literacy rate in Bihar is 60.5%5
One of the main reasons for this is that women get married at a young age, due to child marriage, their educational level falls, and they do not get proper opportunities to get an education. This is the condition not only of West Bengal, Bihar, and Tripura but also of most of the states of India, in which apart from these states there are other major states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh etc.
According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, every person has the freedom to choose a life partner and at what age he wants to marry. It is often seen in these states that these women are married against their choice or at the age they want to marry. She is forcibly married against or is directly a violation of the fundamental rights and human rights of that woman.
Efforts to stop such marriages –
There have been several attempts to reform child marriage, and women’s marriage, which has been going on continuously, when India was in the colonial period, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Keshav Chandra Sen ji did many remarkable things to stop child marriage and women’s rights.
The British government also passed the Sharda Act of 1929, in which the age of marriage for the boy was fixed at 18 years and for the girl at 14 years, in which by amending in 1978, the age of the girl was fixed at 18 years and 21 years for the boy. Gone.6
Legal provisions related to Marriage in India
- The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, which applies to Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, apart from Hindus, is 21 years for a boy and 18 years for a girl.7
- The Special Marriage Act 1954 which is a secular law sets the age of marriage at 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls.8 Considers an age that is estimated to be approximately 15 years in girls.9 penal law. According to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, a person can be punished with rigorous imprisonment of 2 years and a fine of up to one lakh for doing or getting a child marriage done.10
In West Bengal Bihar Tripura we still need to take some special steps to stop early marriage of women because at present we have a lot of acts, laws but still all these are not able to stop this kind of incident
Even now, in remote areas of the country, such marriages take place very easily, about which no report is made, and no one is caught. There is still a need to make the women section of society aware of their rights so that a healthy and progressive society can be built.
1 Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
2 National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21
3 Health Department Matrima Portal
4 National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21
5 National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-21
6 The Sharda Act, 1929
7 The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
8 Special Marriage Act, 1954
9 Muslim Personal Law
10 Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006