Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ring the Bell against Child Marriages!!!

            I have been to a conference in Durgapur, West Bengal last week and I remember watching a pregnant woman with her little child taking rest on the platform.
          "How old can she be?", my friends were whispering.
             "Not more than sixteen, for sure".
          Not an unusual sight you might say, and I can't contradict. When Indichange has asked me to write on child marriages, I searched my memory; Hmph . . . none of my friends have got into that misfortune, they have fought well with the support of our teachers.
Indian law says a marriage below the age of eighteen is child marriage. Will a girl turn into a grown, emotionally matured woman by the age of eighteen? For God's sake, she will be in the first year of her graduation (that is, if she is born into a cultured society where women are educated). While her male counterparts travel through colleges with PhDs and Post-PhDs, she is deprived of her platform to perform, succeed and be independent.
            A marriage before or after eighteen won't matter, if her status remains same. In a country where the usual law of marriage is disregarded quietly, it might be fruitless to talk about a raise in the age of marriage, but it should be done; so that no girls will have to write their exams with bulged bellies and morning sickness again; so that they won't be ashamed of their birth as a woman and unhappy in their role as a mother.
           As always reform should start in families; so let each mother and father take the pledge of bringing up their boys with respect to women and their girls with respect to themselves. Its a small step, but one that will go far.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.