The 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS 5) from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had released its first phrase data from 17 States and 5 Union Territories had revealed some shocking information. With so many number of awareness campaign the child marriages are still rampant in the country. There has been an increase in child marriages in Tripura (40.1% from 33.1% in 2015-16), Manipur (16.3% from 13.7% in 2015-16) and Assam (31.8% from 30.8% in 2015-16), while States like West Bengal (41.6%) and Bihar (40.8%) still have high prevalence of child marriages. The women are getting married before they turn to 18.
While the detailed report with data for all the States is still awaited, the data from the first phase of the NFHS-5 also indicate a decline in nutritional status of children under 5 years, continued female sterilisation being dominant as the modern method of contraceptives, anaemia being much higher among women compared to men and increase in teenage pregnancies.
A child marriage is considered as social evil of the country, marrying girls off under the age of 18 shows the disparity in society, poverty, gender domination. The increase in child marriage is a sign that society has still not progressed and the female are still considered as ‘burden’ of their family.
The child marriage usually ends in abuse or marital rape. There also chances of increasing Maternal Mortality rate (MMR) and many other issues. The over 40% of child marriage is really alarming and immediate step need to be taken.