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Child Marriages are Rampant in Telangana, Finds Study

Latest study by M V Foundation, a child rights organization, revealed that every girl in a child marriage has been devastated through multiple forms of violence in Telangana.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:December 14, 2017, 3:39 PM IST
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Child Marriages are Rampant in Telangana, Finds Study
Image for representative purposes. (Image: PTI)
Hyderabad: Despite laws, the practice of child marriage is rampant in Telangana.

Latest study by M V Foundation, a child rights organization, revealed that every girl in a child marriage has been devastated through multiple forms of violence in Telangana.

Unable to cope with the stigma, the hopelessness, the girls are further pushed into depression.

The study was conducted on girls, in age group of 16-20 years, who have been married for couple of years in districts of Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Mahbubnagar, and Hyderabad.

Detailed interviews of 46 married girls and 26 girls whose marriages were stopped were used in the study.

According to the report, 89 percent of girls reported physical assault by husband on daily basis, 73 percent girls accepted their husband drank daily while 78 percent girls reported their health had deteriorated since they got no help or support from their family.

Shockingly, 70 percent girls knew there is a law prohibiting child marriage, but despite resistance, they failed in stopping their marriage. The main reason was that their families lived below poverty line and illiteracy rate was high among parents.

As per the 2011 census, 14.3 million children in age group of 15-19 years are victims of child marriage.

Telangana, where study was carried out was no better. Mahbubnagar district has highest percentage of married girls in the age group of 15-19 years at 26.2 percent. This is followed by Ranga Reddy at 21.1%, Nalgonda at 21.5%, Khammam and Medak at 21%.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act protects girls from child marriages. But activists say the laws has serious flaws.

R Venkat Reddy, national convenor for MV Foundation said, “Under PCMA, the state takes no responsibility for maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration of rights of a child. Other relevant laws like Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, fail to consider the complex situation of underage married girls. Respecting girls and their freedom is a political issue and ethical compulsion, requiring commitment from the State and moral renaissance in the society."

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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