India is considered as the second highest in the number of child marriages according to the reports by the United Nations. It is a disturbing fact that such orthodox traditions are still prevalent in an emerging nation like India.
What is marriage?
Marriage is a sacred union of two adults who are mature individuals willing to accept each other to spend the rest of their lives with and also agree on sharing their roles and responsibilities throughout their lifetime.
On the other hand, child marriage is an unsound institution established with or without the will of two immature people not in a position to take decisions for their lives.
About Child Marriage in India
Child marriage is the union between two people who are under eighteen years of age. It is a form of forced marriage and therefore it violates the human rights. Child marriage in India is considered as an illegal union between two individuals where the girl is below eighteen years of age and the boy is between twenty one years of age.
Causes and Origin of Child Marriage in Indian Culture
The history of the origin of Child marriage in India dates back to the ear of Delhi Sultanate where child marriage was considered as an Indian custom of getting young girls married in order to protect their sanctity from the foreign invaders. Another reason of its continued prevalence in India is because of the orthodox tradition of getting kids married at younger ages so that the grandparents can spend time with their grandchildren.
Another reason of child marriage in India was poverty and Indian social vices. Indian poor families considered getting their daughters married at an early age so as to release some financial burden of feeding and looking after them.
Consequences of the Social Evil of Child Marriage
Indian weddings are supposed to be the most pious and divine form of celebration. However, when the marriage is done at an inappropriate age, it becomes a traumatic experience for not only the life partners but also for the families involved.
Early maternal death is a common after effect of this social evil. The young girls who are unaware of their bodily changes get pregnant at tender age and suffer from trauma during childbirth. The health of the infant is also affected due to lack of nutrition and care. The young girls who become mothers at early age are unaware of looking after their babies.
Young girls forced into child marriage suffer higher rates of domestic violence than older women. Sexual violence is another traumatic experience which could be inflicted on these young girls. This not only affects them emotionally but might leave them physically impaired for the rest of their lives.
Child marriages need to be abolished as soon as possible for the whole nation to progress and grow. All the Indian citizens irrespective of their cultural backgrounds must unite to eradicate this social evil once and for all.