Bangalore: Modern India is still plagued with social evil practices like child marriage and violence towards women. It is one such country in the world where child marriage is reported at the highest number, with nearly 40 percent of world's 24 million child brides, according to United Nations statistics. This country dubbed as world's child marriage capital, has once again moved a step back in enacting and enforcing adequate laws that prohibit child marriage by declining to sign on the first-ever global decision on eliminating early and forced marriage of children led by the UN, reports Kounteya Sinha for TOI.
India is among the South Asian countries which did not support the resolution. The decision is backed by 107 countries including the African countries like Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Guatemala, Honduras and Yemen.Lakshmi Sundaram, the global coordinator of ‘Girls Not Brides’ exclaimed, “India refusing to sign the resolution is highly disappointing. Though India is putting in place a national plan to combat child marriages, it was strange why it did not stand up against the social ill in the international stage. India would have given out a positive signal that it is willing to find a solution by signing the resolution,” reports TOI.
"Child marriage is a social ill across south Asian countries. However, Nepal probably is the only country that signed the resolution. Both India and Bangladesh which have high rates of child marriages didn't sign in. It a setback globally to the cause that India didn't speak out,” added Lakshmi.
The law against child marriage was introduced in 1929 in India, which set 12 years as the legal age for marriage. But, it was increased to 18 years in 1978.The culture of child marriage is, no doubt one of the greatest drawbacks of our society.