Child marriage

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Dear Editor,

According to the United nation’s report, India has second highest number of child marriages. Marriage is considered to be a sacred union between two mature and consenting individuals who are ready to accept each other and share responsibilities for a lifetime. With respect to this context, child marriages happen to be an unsound institution. Child marriage kills the innocence of childhood.

The Indian Constitution provides for prohibition against child marriage through various laws and enactments. The first law that was designed was the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 which extended to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. This Act defines the ages of an adult male and female and also that the sex with the minors is ac criminal offence under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code. Proper media sensitization is required for a major change to take place.

Despite of having many statutes in the constitution there are still many places in India where child marriage is prevalent, but genuine efforts, strict enforcement of the legal provision can change the whole scenario to the great extent.

Anil Mahajan

Gandhinagar, Jammu

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