Hyderabad among top 70 cities in most number of child marriages in India

Hyderabad: Hyderabad is among 70 districts in India with a large number of child marriages as per a report of census 2011. A report revealed earlier this month broke the myth that child marriage is a common practice in the rural country. A report shares the information with title ‘A statistical analysis of child marriage in India based on Census 2011’ released by Young Lives, the India chapter of an international research project, in association with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

As per a report by TOI, 70 districts are responsible for 14% of the country’s population but account for 21% of child marriages. Despite a decrease in population from 2001 to 2011 in undivided AP (as per the census data), the incidence of child marriage among girls only increased. The Census data also reveals that there were 5,31,583 girls married before attaining the legal age of 18 and 5,81,468 boys married before they turned 21 in undivided AP.

Researchers also found out that there are gender biases prevailing in AP as well as in Telangana, the report also said: “Girls who had left school by 15 years were four times more likely to marry before the age of 18 as compared to girls who were still enrolled. Those from the poorest households were twice as likely to be married before age 18 as those from the least poor households.”

“In a majority of cases, a girl and boy are married before attaining the legal age to improve financial conditions of the families in the name of dowry. In Rangareddy, young girls are often married to older men,” said C Devender, district child protection officer of RR district.

Activists found out that families under the fear of judgements by society tend to get their children married before attaining their legal age for marriage. “In few cases, we found that a 17-to-18-year-boy will fall in love with a 14-to-15-year old girl. Fearing that the love and affection will bring shame to the family, many child marriages in and around Hyderabad are conducted by parents themselves,” said Achyutha Rao, a child rights activist.