Free Press Journal

Education key to curb child marriage: CRY


Patna: Two of every five adolescent girls in Bihar are married off before they complete their higher secondary education, CRY revealed on Wednesday as the country marked International Day of the Girl Child.

NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) said education can significantly play the role of a game-changer when it comes to adolescent girls forced to marry and bear children before they are prepared, both physically and mentally.

It said that in spite of an overall decline in the rate of marriage among young girls across most of Indian states, Bihar continues to have a comparatively higher percentage of marriage before girls reach the legally prescribed age of 18 years.

Also Read: Sex with wife aged between 15 and 18 years would be a punishable offence- Supreme Court

According to the recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4, 2015-16) data, 39.1 per cent of women within the age group of 20-24 years were married before 18 years.

Welcoming Bihar government’s campaign against child marriage, Mohua Chatterjee, Program Head, CRY (Eastern Region), said: “It’s indeed a positive move, as the government has actually taken into cognizance the gravity of child marriage situation in the state.”

Pointing out that lack of access to schools is a big reason why girls often drop out at the secondary and higher secondary levels, Chatterjee said that to address the issue, the state government should set up a residential school for girls in each block of all districts.