The old concept of marriage was a narrow one which limited the progress of a girl child. Despite intelligence and aptitude, a female child was always directed towards household values. She would learn to cook and sew at an early age and school dropouts were hurriedly married so as to discourage any probability of elopement. This was a very orthodox value which was followed by many village folks. Sadly enough this is still done in many remote villages where families belong to rich households yet remain ancient in their thinking.
Matrimony is very confusing to little minds and they do not understand the same. Elders expect them to obey and cherish customs while their mind is still seeking to climb a tree or learn a few rhymes in English. But their freedom is much curbed and they get into the bearing children and taking care of a huge family at a tender age. This results in neglected health problems and taking too much responsibility on young shoulders which also has a psychological impact on their personality.
During India’s freedom struggle, many leaders opposed child marriage and made an emphatic display through street plays and slogans to ban the same. All has not changed in India as people still believe in child marriage in certain parts of India. Though India is emerging as a dynamic country with many feats like Chandrayan launch, achievements in international sports and winning beauty pageants, the problem of child marriage and dowry still stays and is not totally eradicated.
Awareness programs are conducted on a full scale and there are very strict rules by the Indian Penal code if anyone is held guilty for supporting child marriages. Owing to corruption, political clout and negligence child marriage is still practiced in India. NGO’s and several freelance social workers are bringing forth the evil effects of child marriage that thwart the growth of an individual. Whether it is a boy or girl, childhood is meant for enjoyment and exploring joys rather that restricting oneself in family discipline.
Children should be given the wealth of education; their health should be supported and cared for. Nutrition is vital for a girl child and often over looked owing to early motherhood and related gynecological problems. The enforcement of the law should be stricter and unpolluted with corruption and bribery. This will only ensure safety to the future of Indian children who are less fortunate than their urban friends. Government is making rules stringent to register marriages as a method to check for valid age proofs.