Child marriage is a violation of human rights. One in three of the world's child brides live in India.
According to the UNICEF report published in 2005-06, child marriage rates in India were estimated to be around 47%. UNICEF reported that child marriage was spread in 5 Indian states (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Maharashtra, and Bengal) and the prevalence of child marriage in these states is 40%.
Jharkhand is the state with the highest child marriage rate (14.1%) in India and Jammu and Kashmir is the only state with the lowest child marriage rate (0.4%) in 2009.
The Rajasthan government on Friday passed a new law, which the opposition has claimed will legitimize child marriage. The Rajasthan Compulsory Registration of Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in the state assembly. There is a provision in the bill that child marriage can be registered within 30 days. In this way, the Rajasthan government is promoting a stop to child marriage.
Dr.Kumar Kamble is a professional sexologist and also a de-addiction specialist. Dr.Kamble has special expertise and experience in working with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in the Deaddiction center for 4 years.
Dr. Ajay Sharma is a Clinical and child psychologist working in Vishwas Psychotherapy, testing and counseling center practice in Indore city, He is catering to a wide spectrum of cases ranging from young kids, adolescents to elderly people, married couples, and corporates. He is an expert in various types of psychotherapies and techniques including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Solution-Focused based short-term therapy, Group therapy, Family therapy, Marital therapy, Counseling for Suicidal Patients, Anger Management techniques, and Relaxation techniques.
Impact of child marriage
Dr. Kumar Kamble says, “Child marriage means marriage in young age group. Children at a young age are growing and in the stage of development. Child marriage causes them to move into adulthood prematurely. Your mind and body are not ready to accept the child marriage responsibility. This impacts emotional and physical health. This drastic change can affect the mind and body affecting mental health growth causing
Depression Anxiety PTSD
These symptoms are often unaddressed and if untreated can cause complications- Apart from this, this impacts the social life like lack of education, social growth gets hampered, lack of being independent, etc.
Psychological Negative Impact of child marriage
Dr. Ajay Sharma, “Child marriage affects the age group of 5 - 13 years during the developmental stage. This hampers the developmental stage before the age of 16 years leading to depression and anxiety and extra burden. Children like to play and study. This can cause a negative impact on family and lead to many problems with like-
Issues with family responsibilities The emergence of sexually transmitted diseases Lack marriage bonding in young children Identity crisis especially in girls Financial issues during schooling age can lead to stealing
Initially, WHO has initiated the age group for marriage from 18 to 21, and now they are thinking of further extending to the 25 years of age. This is due to the impact on brain development. Depression, anxiety, and hopelessness may result in alcohol use in children. Child marriage has increased during COVID as people are selling their girls for financial needs which is wrong especially in poor families. The problems start when the young girl is married to elderly men who are 10 - 15 years elder may lead to child abuse and lack of freedom.”
Problems for girl child due to child marriage
Dr. Kumar Kamble informs, “The main Problems for girl child due to child marriage are -
Menstrual problem Early pregnancy Lack of physical development Lack of mental development The extra burden of responsibility for a new role Pressure on female girl child Sexually transmitted disease Preterm labor Pregnancy complications Lack of nutrition Anemia Emotional stress Physical stress Impact on newborn
Early marriage problems post marriage
Dr. Ajay Sharma informs, “The marriage should take place after mutual consent of partners. The marriages post 25+ years of age stay healthy for the long term. At this age, you are aware of your responsibilities and your new role in the family. The marriages after the 25 + year age group are stable. The age group of 10 + to 16 + years of marriage has to deal with many problems like anger, identity search, stealing, child abuse, etc. When you marry after 25 years of age, you are physically and mentally more mature.
Social processes of child marriage
Dr. Ajay Sharma informs, “Social processes of child marriage are following -
Promiscuous in the family especially in Rajasthan and Haryana An increasing number of Early age widow Mental health issues in girls due to early age marriage Suicidal at the young age Societal belief Cultural belief
Awareness about such things is important as child marriage is still prevalent. The pressure on the girls is more as they have to leave their house and step into the groom's house. The young boys have financial burdens. This may lead to extramarital affairs at a young age and lack of sexual knowledge.”
Message from expert
Dr. Ajay Sharma informs, “Live for yourself and take a correct decision about marriage. Dream big till infinity.”
Dr. Kumar Kamble informs, “Awareness and education among the public about child marriage is a must.”
(Edited by Dr. Rati Parwani)