Children are exposed to various atrocities in our Indian society and one of the biggest atrocities is the Child Marriage. Child marriage is defined as a marriage of a boy or a girl before the age of 18 years and 21 years the age that is mentioned in the Child Marriage Act, 2006[1] which is a formally tied up relation and refers both as formal unions and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with the partner as if married. Child marriage is considered to be the violence. Child marriage affects both the girl and boy but in the case of girl it affects them by restricting them also it is a kind of slavery for them.[2]

The highest rates of the child marriages in the world is in South Asia. According to the survey out of one in five Girls 17% are married before the age of 15 and almost half of the women aged 22-24 years reported that they are being married before the age of 18.

It violates the children’s right and also place them at the highest risk of violence exploitation and abuse. Bangladesh has  highest rate of child marriages in the Asia and number fourth highest rate in the world. India has the largest number of minor brides in the world.

Most of the places in the world, marriage involving the children under 18 years old remains a long-practiced culture over there. That means 11% of the women are married before reaching the age of 15. Both girls and boys get affected and it affect the girls most as they suffer the slavery as a consequence of the child marriage. Not every child marriage turns into the cases of exploitation, slavery or violence but most of the cases comes from the slum area and face the problem of slavery violence and abuse.[3]

Child marriages are considered to be the slavery if one or more of the following elements are present: -

If Child has not given the consent for the marriage.

If the child subjected to control and a sense of ownership in the marriage itself particularly through the abuse and threat and also exploited by being forced under domestic works and engage in non-consensual sexual relations.

The child cannot leave for end the marriage due to some religion problem leading potentially to the lifetime of slavery.[4]

Children are in weaker positions to give free  and informed consent to the marriage. Parents of children have control over them and this results their inability to resist. Most of the children don’t even have the control on their lives for their freedom for a person within the marriage including over sexual relationships. Particularly girls in these situations are commonly controlled through violence, threat and humiliation. More often than not they experience   the isolation and loneliness in their life. In the early Industrial Revolution age in many parts of the world including India, China and Eastern Europe women were supposed to get married after attending their age elf puberty. Men’s in our society are allowed to marry letter in the society where a married couple was expected to establish our household of their own. It was that time tradition the boy can be unmarried until they are accumulated sufficient wealth to support a new home and the married life. [5]

According to Friedman,” arranging and contracting the marriage of a Young Girl were the Undisputed prerogative of a father in Asian Israel”. The girl was married before the age of 15 Orphan at the start of their puberty. In the Hindu holy books Vedas marriage is done between two adults’ person after celibate state. The initial dharma shastra states that the girl should be at the age puberty. Also, in Manu smriti father of a girl is considered to have wronged his daughter if he fails to marry her before the poverty and if the girl is not married in less than three years after reaching puberty so then she can search for the husband by herself.  Afterwards in the Ottoman Empire distinguished between the age of competence of marriage which was 18 years for the boys and 17 years for girls and also the minimum age for the marriage was set at 12 for the boys and 9 for the girls. During the time passed the new amendments kept on making.[6]

In India, government strictly restraint child marriage and it is a punishable offence. It is considered to be the crime in India. Still most of the cases found in Rajasthan where child marriage is culturally practiced. Indian Government enacted Prevention of Child Marriage Act 2006 in the replacement of earlier legislation of child marriage Restraint Act, 1929. This new act meets with power provisions to eradicate the child marriages besides protecting and providing relief to the victim and enhance the punishment for those who promote or solemnise such marriages. This act mandates for the appointment of child marriage prohibition officer for the whole or the part of state by the state government.[7]

There are many problems which are associated with early marriage. Early marriages may lead to miscarriages. This is because young girls may not even know that she is pregnant and might continue to encourage her sexual day-to-day activities which may lead her to miscarriage of the Baby. Early marriage may lead to the childbearing girl’s problem after natal period such as leaking urine which is also called as vesical vaginal fistula. The early pregnancy could badly effect the girls’s body as the blood flow wold be directed to the womb and the darkening of hands and legs may be resulted. Early child bearing may lead to operations as the pelvic bone of a young girl done get mature. Various emotional problem arises as they have no experience of handling marital problems. It also leads to lack of education. They have to forcefully drop out the school. To overcome this the proper education should be provide them and also invite in family planning programme.[8]

Thus, it is our prime duty to abolish this evil practice as we are a modernized society now and such practices are not worthy to hold a place in our culture. The case of Vishakha vs State of Rajasthan[9] also point our societal backwardness where a women name Bhawri Devi was raped by men of a village in Rajasthan because she was against this child marriage. This leads to the fact that how inhuman we have become that we don’t want to see someone doing good to our society and acting as a barrier to our bad faiths. Although, crime rate against women has been increasing at an alarming rate and thus, abolishing this practice can provide a small yet a beneficial relief to the females of our country because if the people are made aware about the harmful consequences of this practice and if they follow this by true heart then no girl will have to suffer slavery and exploitation and also her dreams will not get wasted.

“Children are our most valuable resource.”

– Herbert Hoover

Let us take an initiative to make this slogan a worth.