The number of marriages involving girls between the age group of 15 to 19 years has dipped between 2005-06 and 2015-16, as per a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The report says the marriage percentage of young girls have dipped from 26.5 percent to 11.9 percent in this period. The report by the commission is based on data analysis done on child marriage between the age group of 15-19 years of age during the third and fourth rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS) that were conducted in 2005-2006 and 2015-16. This report was prepared by Young Lives India, a research centre, along with NCPCR.
Speaking about the report, NCPCR chairperson Stuti Kacker told HT that till now NHFS-4 used to analyse child marriage data in the age group of 20-24 years of age. However, this is for the first time that the child marriage data from NFHS-4 was analysed in the 15-19 age group. The result shows fall in child marriages in recent times, she added.
The commission also suggested that the Right to Education should be given to all students up to the age of 18 years in order to prevent child marriage in the country. Its suggestion is based on a research that shows a connection between a girl child’s education level and age of marriage. It said that after a girl is taken out from school at the age of 15 years, there are strong possibilities of her getting married at an early age.
The report titled ‘India child marriage and teenage pregnancy’, shows that in most states, the completion rate of secondary schooling is quite higher among unmarried girls in the 15-19 years of age. The report shows that among these girls, nearly 30 per cent did not receive any education, 21.9 per cent got primary education, 10 per cent of them have secondary schooling, even as 2.4 per cent of these girls have higher education.
“There is a strong correlation between educational attainment of girls and early child marriage. There is also a strong association between parents’ low aspirations for child’s education and teenage marriage,” Renu Singh from Young Lives told The Indian Express.