[Answered] Crackdown on child marriage doesn’t address real causes. In the light of the statement, suggest some alternative measures to tackle the menace of child marriage.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some alternative measures to tackle the menace of child marriage.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Child marriage is defined as a marriage of a girl or boy before the age of 18.  According to UNICEF, at least 5 million girls under 18 get married in India, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world – accounting for ~33% of the global total. Nearly 16% adolescent girls aged 15-19 are currently married.

Measures to tackle the menace of child marriage:

  • Financial Upliftment: Poor Families ‘sell’ their children through marriage to pay off debts or to get out of the cycle of poverty. Providing families with livelihood opportunities like microfinance loans is an effective way to prevent child marriages that occur as a result of financial stress.
  • Implementation of Laws: Laws are not implemented stringently. In many cases the ages of the bride and groom aren’t checked at the time of registration of marriage. Village Panchayats must work closely with the Child Protection Committees and Child Marriage Prohibition Officers to prevent instances of child marriages.
  • Empowering the Girl Child: Limited paid work opportunities for women and girls are another factor that contributes to early marriage. The Governments should take all possible steps to improve access to education for girlsg., the Governments can provide schools with proper sanitation facilities. Incentives may also be provided for girls to increase their enrollment in the school.
  • Social Change: There is a need to sensitize the parents and society about the ills of child marriage. Rallying the wider community to stand up for girls’ rights will help bring the change. Social change will be more effective to check child marriage than coercive measures and laws.

The government should attempt the visionary and practical solution of the campaign Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. The efforts of the Union and State Governments, NGOs have led to a sharp decline in the instances of child marriages. However, all stakeholders should continue their efforts till this evil practice is eliminated completely.


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