Skip to main content

Gujarat slipped in fight against child marriage during Narendra Modi's chief ministership: Census data

By Our Representative
The new 2011 Census of India data on child marriage has opened yet another chapter about the failure of the Gujarat government’s save the girl child campaign during the chief ministership of Narendra Modi (2001-14). The data reveal that, compared to other states, Gujarat has one of the lowest percentage of women of all ages who may been forced to tie their nuptial knot before 8, yet, in 2011, at the time of Census data collection, it had one of the highest proportion of married females below 18.
The Census provides two separate pieces of data. One set is about women of all ages who got married before they had reached 18. In this category, nearly 20 per cent women of Gujarat were found to have got married before they were 18. This is significantly better than most states.
In fact, the 20 per cent figure of Gujarat is much better than the all-India average of 30 per cent, and worse than only three other states – Punjab 11 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 16 per cent, and Kerala 18 per cent. Rest of all the 19 major states were found to have a higher percentage of females who were married away before they reached 18.
The other set of data are about females who were found to be below the age of 18 on the day the Census of India officials carried out their door-to-survey. This set of data show that Gujarat has 4.2 per cent of married females who weren’t at the legal age of marriage, 18, which is higher than 12 other major states out of 19.
While the all-India average on this score is 3.7 per cent, the states which higher percentage of married females below 18 were – Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan (both 4.3 per cent), Assam 5.1 per cent, Bihar 5.8 per cent, Jharkhand 6.1 per cent, and West Bengal 7.8 per cent.
The data go to suggest that, though Gujarat may have of the lowest proportions of females who may have been married before 18, states other than Gujarat achieved a much better success rate in overcoming child marriage. Thus, the gap between women of all ages who were married before reaching 18 and the married females found to be below 18 in 2011 is found to have sharply moved in favour of the latter in a large number of states.
This is true of both rich and poor states of India. Thus, the “rich” and “progressive” Maharashtra has 28 per cent of females of all ages who were married away before reaching 18; but in 2011 only 1.7 per cent females in that state were found to be below 18. On the other hand, the “Bimaru” state of Madhya Pradesh had nearly 40 per cent of females of all ages who were married away before 18; but as of 2011, only 3.1 per cent of married females were found be less than 18 years of age.
If the Census data are any guide, the best performing state in curtailing child marriage are Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, where only 0.3 per cent of married females hadn’t reached the age of 18. This is followed by Punjab (0.5 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (0.9 per cent), Tamil Nadu (1.3 per cent), Maharashtra (1.7 per cent), Kerala (2.7 per cent), Odisha (2 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (3.1 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (3.7 per cent), Karnataka (3.8 per cent), and Andhra Pradesh (4 per cent).

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.