Nation Current Affairs 15 Dec 2017 89 per cent child br ...

89 per cent child brides physically abused by husbands

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUSHA PUPPALA
Published Dec 15, 2017, 12:42 am IST
Updated Dec 15, 2017, 3:00 am IST
Ms Razia Ismail, president of India Alliance for child Rights,  New Delhi (second left) releases a study on child marriages. (From left) R. Venkat Reddy, national convenor of MV Foundation,  M.R. Vikram, secretary of MV Foundation, Ms Jandyala Kameshwari and Prof. Shantha Sinha, former chairpersons of national commission for protection of child rights, government of India, are also seen. (Photo: DC)
 Ms Razia Ismail, president of India Alliance for child Rights, New Delhi (second left) releases a study on child marriages. (From left) R. Venkat Reddy, national convenor of MV Foundation, M.R. Vikram, secretary of MV Foundation, Ms Jandyala Kameshwari and Prof. Shantha Sinha, former chairpersons of national commission for protection of child rights, government of India, are also seen. (Photo: DC)

Hyderabad: Over one in every ten girls in the country are married off between the age of 15 and 19. According to a study conducted by MV Foundation, a child welfare group, the frequency is 11.6 per cent nationally, and 11.3 per cent in Telangana.

The study indicates that the highest number of child marriages in the state, 26.2 per cent, happen in Mahbubnagar district, followed by Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, Khammam and Medak.

The predicament of girls in the age group of 16 to 20 years who had been married for two to three years was studied through detailed interviews. 46 such girls from Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Mahbubnagar, and Hyderabad participated in the study.

The study attempted to delve into the girls’ experiences of marital life, their working conditions and wages, and their relationships with their husbands and in-laws. It also explored instances of gender discrimination and sexual, physical and mental abuse.

Eighty nine per cent of girls said that they were physically assaulted by their husbands on a daily basis; 73 per cent of their husbands consumed alcohol every day, and 91 per cent came home late. A total of 85 per cent of the girls said that they never had the opportunity to visit or spend time with their friends.

None of the girls who participated in the study claimed to be healthy; 78 per cent of them said that their health had deteriorated since marriage; 30 per cent complained of body aches and pains, and 15 per cent were depressed. Only 30 per cent of their deliveries resulted in healthy outcomes for both mother and child. 67 per cent of girls said that they could not discuss their health issues with their husbands.

Under the Kalyana Lakshmi Scheme, the government of Telangana offers an incentive of Rs 75,000 to newly-married brides. Though the scheme is tended to act as a deterrent to child marriages, the study shows that it only helps perpetuate the message that the ultimate goal of a girl is to get married.

The study shows that most child brides come from families below the poverty line. Seventy nine per cent of the families who indulge in child marriage earn less than Rs 50,000 per annum, 16 per cent earn between Rs 51,000 and Rs 75,000; and five percent earn between Rs 76,000 and Rs 1,00,000. 

It also shows that the parents of child brides are poorly educated. Ninety one per cent of their mothers are illiterate, six percent have studied up to Class V, and three percent have studied up to Class VIII. Most of the girls are school dropouts, and almost none of them have studied beyond Class VII. The age at which most of their marriages are fixed is 16 to 17 years.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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