Guwahati: Hundreds of villages across 20 districts in Assam joined forces in an unprecedented show of unity to combat child marriage. This mass mobilisation was initiated by the government and saw participation from men, women, and children who pledged to eliminate child marriage from the state.
This effort is part of the ‘Child Marriage Free India‘ campaign, a nationwide movement aimed at eradicating child marriage by 2030.
The day was marked by celebrations and enthusiasm, culminating in candlelight marches led by survivors of child marriage. These events sent a powerful message that child marriage has no place in the new Assam.
A recent book titled ‘When Children Have Children: Tipping Point To End Child Marriage’ by child rights activist Bhuwan Ribhu provides a roadmap to achieve the campaign’s 2030 goal.
Shredding apart the reality of child marriage and its consequences, the book states, “Child marriage is child rape. It results in child pregnancy, which may result in child death.”
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“Child marriage has been embedded in our social fabric for ages and despite it being a crime, child marriages haven’t ceased to exist. However, witnessing the immense and almost unprecedented support from all quarters of society, I feel like India is on the anvil of creating history. This movement is spreading like wildfire and with the commitment shown by the state governments, our children may finally thrive in a country where their rights are ensured and protected,” Ravi Kant, Country Head, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF), said.
He also commended the commitment of state governments to end child marriage.
The National Family Health Survey-V (NFHS 2019-21) reports that nationally, 23.3% of women between 20-24 were married before 18, with Assam reporting a higher rate at 31.8%.
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