Social

Child marriage: Burden of gold on small shoulders

A Rajasthan folk song ‘Choti si Umar’ still touches our heart which happily cries out to give a message that stop the 8-year-old girl to get married.

A popular show of 2008 Balika Vadhu enters in the Limca Book of Records. To my dismay, it was not a strange thing to be happened. A show which was born out of a sensitive issue known as a child marriage created a buzz all over the world.

Definitely, the show had essence because an issue which was quite prevalent in historical times was outcasted in a bid to a modern life.

A girl was married off to a boy on the pretext of decorated ornaments and a boy was allowed to continue with his studies. The ritual became a compulsion on the generations. However, they forgot the innocence hidden behind the glooming eyes of children.

Unknowingly, when they enter into an age of adolescence where attraction becomes natural forces them to enter into an intimidating relationship.

In fact, Mahatma Gandhi had himself regretted in his autobiography (My experiments with Truth) for following that ritual due to his ignorant and sinlessness age.

Periodically, the offence started becoming horrendous and took a gruesome form i.e., forced marriage. Clearly, the laws were turning out to be paralysed in front of the prevailing orthodoxy and hysterical mindset.

Amidst in the 2000s when telly queen Ekta Kapoor’s daily soaps were on the zenith Balika Vadhu made a grand entry with the opening of Colors channel.

Annoyed with all the dramatization and theatrical expressions, viewers welcome the show with open arms.

Therefore, the show gathered many TRPs and in the first year the show was a huge success.

However, Census of 2011 revealed that a new twist in the tales that poverty is merely not a cause behind the increasing numbers of child marriages.

Indeed, merely the popularity of a show is not enough to ban the child marriages across the nation.

Also, the constant growth in the number of child marriages has repetitively proved a rotten Indian system from socially as well as legally. As per the UNESCO’s prediction more than 140 million girls will marry between 2011 and 2020.

It’s not that laws are not enough to debar the evil practice. In fact, such evils are rooted to remain unchanged.

So why still the shows like Balika Vadhu are not enough to put an end to evil practice

SOCIAL SET-UP

Society is a major seed in developing a fruitful tree to provide the shadow to its ‘family’ living in it. The more we try to water these cultural fruits, our nation looks more effective in producing the output within the nation. How strong a society is internally, makes a difference in this high competition.

However, when these communities fail to respond to the changing times it becomes all more difficult to end practices like child marriages.

The growth of the atrocities of these social evil practices is insurmountable. Truly, it is inescapable but if we together put an effort in filtering the minds, a process of pure thinking can begin. For instance, according to the TOI report, the Nashik district will become free from child marriages after having strict orders from KM Nagargoje.

ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE

Indeed, law books have given numbers of Indian codes to convince our intellectual section of society that administration is working smoothly.

But, what else can be added to reform our administrative system.

A responsive helpline can narrow down the communication gap to help both the parties i.e, victim and the law and to end the child marriage.

Similarly, more courts can be set-up to provide a fast decision process.

The police are core and primary strength in our legal system. The police should become more active and supportive in the process of eradication of social evil.

 ECONOMIC STRUCTURE

A healthy economic structure implies a tremendous growth in the overall development of the nation.

Thereby, girls becoming brides before the age of 18 yrs represents high dropout of girls from schools. Poor education due to poverty at times makes more difficult to comprehend the situations in rural areas.

Therefore, an investment is to be done to improve the situation at world at par to fight against the child marriages. For instance, as per the World Bank report, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CIFF will invest $4.2 million over three years to fund the most extensive data modeling ever undertaken, establishing the economic consequences of child marriage and the economic case for putting a stop to child marriage.   

As it is said, it’s never too late to start something afresh. Therefore, what had been done in the history should not be repeated again, in fact one should learn from the history to hope for a better future. Along with, shows like Balika Vadhu should be promoted in rural areas more.

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