Let’s Join Hands To End The Child Marriage in India

Published on October 15, 2023

According to UNICEF 2014, 1 in 3 child brides in the world is from India. One of the most common types of exploitation and sexual abuse is child marriage, especially in the case of girls under the age of 18. In varying degrees, this practice can be seen in all Indian states but Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have more severe numbers of such cases. The goal of CRY, India’s most trusted NGO, is to work with the community to eradicate the practice, to stop child marriage as well as ensure children attend school rather than get married off or bear children of their own too soon.

Millions of young girls from marginalised communities have had their goals derailed due to the deep-rooted issue of child marriage and early motherhood. These two social evils continue to be practised across the country in both urban and rural areas. This issue is only getting worse as more young girls are married off at an early age to lessen the financial burden on the family. Child marriage in India has been practised more aggressively in recent years due to the loss of livelihoods throughout the ongoing crisis of the pandemic.
According to Census 2011, India has over 12 million married children, out of which 70% are girls. Children who marry young are denied their fundamental rights, like good health and nutrition, access to regular education, and freedom from abuse and exploitation. This is a gross violation of their birthright which makes them even more vulnerable. Many underprivileged children continue to be trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty which adversely hinders their wholesome development. From the current generations to the future ones, all children are attacked due to this illegal practice but it is time we protect children’s rights.

9 Effective Ways to End Child Marriage in India: CRY India's Commitment

Child marriage in India remains a deeply entrenched issue, robbing countless young girls of their childhood, education, and prospects. At CRY India, our mission revolves around ensuring every child's right to a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment.

Let's explore nine effective ways to end child marriage and shed light on how CRY India, as a dedicated child rights NGO, is working tirelessly to combat this grave issue.

1. Empower Girls with Education

Education is a powerful tool for breaking the cycle of child marriage. By promoting and providing access to quality education, we empower girls to envision a brighter future. At CRY India, we strive to ensure that every girl child receives a holistic education that equips her with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed choices.

2. Promote Gender Equality

Achieving gender equality is fundamental to eradicating child marriage. We work relentlessly to challenge harmful gender norms and stereotypes that perpetuate this practice. Through awareness campaigns and community engagement, we aim to create an environment where girls are valued as much as boys.

3.  Encourage Supportive Laws and Child Protection Policies

Advocating for strong legal frameworks and child protection policies is crucial. CRY India actively engages with policymakers to strengthen legislation against child marriage and ensure its effective implementation. We believe that laws must not only exist on paper but also be enforced rigorously.

4. Educate and Spread Awareness about Child Marriage

Awareness is the first step towards change. CRY India conducts extensive awareness campaigns, reaching out to communities, schools, and individuals to educate them about the harmful consequences of child marriage. We believe that informed communities are more likely to stand against this practice.

 5. Provide Support for the Development of Adolescent Girls

Supporting the holistic development of adolescent girls is key to preventing child marriage. CRY India offers programs that focus on girls' physical and emotional well-being, ensuring they are equipped to make informed choices about their lives.

6. Educate Parents and Raise Awareness About Child Marriage

Parents often play a pivotal role in child marriages, driven by societal pressures or misconceptions. CRY India conducts workshops and awareness sessions with parents to highlight the long-term consequences of child marriage on their daughters' lives and well-being.

7. Report If Any Child Marriage Is Happening Around You

Community participation is essential in preventing child marriages. We encourage individuals to report any child marriage incidents they come across. CRY India works closely with local authorities to ensure that such reports are acted upon promptly.

8. Do Not Be Part of Any Events Promoting Child Marriage

As responsible citizens, it is crucial to refuse participation in any events that promote child marriage. By taking a stand against such practices, we can collectively work towards its eradication.

9. Collaborate with NGOs to Prevent Child Marriage

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) like CRY India are at the forefront of the battle against child marriage. We offer support, resources, and guidance to individuals and communities to prevent child marriages and provide a safe environment for children to grow.

How Is CRY India NGO Working to End Child Marriage?

At CRY India, our commitment to ending child marriage is unwavering. We employ a multifaceted approach that includes:

1. Advocacy and Policy Change

We actively engage with policymakers, advocating for stronger laws and policies to combat child marriage. Our efforts have contributed to significant legal reforms in several states.

2. Grassroots Interventions

 We work closely with communities at the grassroots level, raising awareness about the harmful effects of child marriage and providing support for girls' education and development.

3. Mobilizing Communities

CRY India mobilizes communities to take a stand against child marriage. Through community-led initiatives, we empower people to report child marriage incidents and protect vulnerable children.

4. Partnerships and Collaboration

We collaborate with other NGOs, government agencies, and international organizations to amplify our impact and share best practices in ending child marriage.

Ending child marriage in India is a complex challenge that requires concerted efforts from all sections of society. By following the nine effective ways outlined above and supporting organizations like CRY India, we can collectively work towards a future where every child enjoys their childhood, education, and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Together, we can stop child marriage and create a more just and equal society for all.

At CRY, we have been working to address the social evil of child marriage in India by carrying out online counselling sessions with adolescent girls, connecting parents with MNREGA job opportunities, planning home visits to high-risk homes, raising awareness of the negative effects of child marriage among Panchayat leaders and VCPC members, tracking potential cases of impending child marriages and getting help from the police to stop them, ensuring that girls can return to school after the lockdown, and more. In 2021-22, CRY protected 58,427 adolescent girls, between 11-18 years in CRY project areas, from child marriage.

With your generous support, this serious issue can be given more resources and much-needed intervention. Donate to CRY, to help prevent child marriage among disadvantaged girls. Your contribution can give India's daughters a chance for a better future. Donate to CRY now!