PROBLEM OF GIRL CHILD MARRIAGES
While working on the issue of child labour for last 10-12 years, we decided to
look back and review the situation. The review was focused to a specific location and the girls admitted to Std.IV, out of which 60% had simply
vanished off the schools. It was later revealed that the girls were married.
As such the average age of getting married for girls is in-between 13 – 16. Thus,
while dealing with the problem of child labour came in forefront the serious and grave problem of girl-child marriages. The review was done between the period 1993 to 1996 in the 25 villages. Out of 179 girls, 105 had got married. Such girls have to
face life alike the bounded labour and untimely motherhood was forced upon them. As
a result, their health conditions deteriorated.
As per the Maharashtra
Govt’s Human Development Report 2002, the percentage of girl child marriages is 38 % but Marathwada/ Latur the percentage
of girl child marriages is 58.10%.
GIRL CHILD MARRIAGES IN MAHARASHTRA & LATUR DIST.
The evil effects of child marriages
the right to education and enjoy childhood is
The girl has to work like a bonded labour.
The right to motherhood and sexual behaviour
The threat of death, both to mothers (the minor
girls) and the new-born is increased.
Problem in marital life and motherhood have to
be faced when the girl is not matured.
Lack of healthy marital relationship creates
psychological tensions, broken families and cases of divorces.
PIRD has been working since its inception towards poverty elimination. Our main focus
was to create employment opportunities through community useful activities such as water-shed development, drinking water
resource and water resources for irrigation, self help groups, income generation programes, etc.. All such activities with the involvement of the community with whom we work provided some sort of employment
to the participants.
POVERTY IN LATUR DISTRICT DURING THE YEAR 1998-99
, providing employment or empowering
people with fund to earn their daily bread does not necessarily eradicate the evil customs, conventionally being carried out through ages under the name of religion and culture.
THE ILLUSIVE FIGURES AND STATISTICS
OF THE GOVT. OF MAHARASHTRA (1997 – 98) – The Below Poverty
Per capita income per annum 13677
One such custom is of the child marriage.
While on the other hand, the offspring of poverty, child marriage is also the problem of child labour. As such child labour is also in focus of the organization.
THE PER CAPITAL AVERAGE INCOME
SOCIAL VALUES :-
Historically, for six hundred
years before independence, the region of Marathwada was ruled by Feudal tendency rulers.
It is for this reason that the revolutionary philosophy brought in by the British rule never reached to the masses,
as even the Britishers never did not rule over Marathwada directly. The so-called
saints from the soil worked outside Marathwada and in such circumstances, no reformists took birth. For all such reasons, the community in general has remained backward even in their thinking and approach
towards women’s liberation movements. Pre-marital sex relationships and
motherhood is considered as the worst crime and such families are either driven out of the village or boycotted. To avoid such filthy situations, the parents are overcautious and get their daughters married as soon as
they attain puberty.
But the main problem is the women / minor girls who give birth to children and
the family looks upon the children as a income generation source. It is therefore
necessary to underline the education of the minor girl and their family members in terms of ill-effects of child marriages.
This can be achieved only through
mobilization and creating awareness among the members of the community including the minor girls themselves. The thesis is
that the practice of child labour is the cause of poverty while the hypothesis is that early marriages is also one among the
many causes of child labour practice.
The district of Latur is known for its ‘Latur Pattern’ (for the scholastic
education upto Std. X). In all the villages, school education is available
upto Std. IV. There are 914 villages including different talukas, cities and
the total number of schools for 914 villages is 484. In all such schools, the
facility is available for education beyond std.VII. 20% of such schools are citybased. As per the recent survey of 2001, the roll-call and admission charge for Std.VII &
VIIth is as follows. The following chart shows that 20% boys and 25% girls are drop-outs before they reach Std.VIII.
Source : EMIS Data
– 30 Sept.2001