Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
CHILD MARRIAGE A PENAL OFFENCE
The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, makes it illegal for girls to marry under 18 years and for boys under 21 years. It is a non-cognizable and non-bailable offence with a fine up to Rs 100,000, or up to two years of imprisonment, or both.
FACTS IN FIGURES
UP has two million married girls in age group 10- 19 years Child marriage violates the right to equality and non-discrimination, right to development, education, and freedom from violence, access to reproductive health and right to consensual marriage Under 18 pregnancies have harmful physical, social, psychological effects on girls. Girls with higher levels of schooling are less likely to marry as children. Child brides often show signs symptomatic of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress such as severe depression. Girls who marry before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence than their peers who marry later. Pregnancy is consistently among the leading causes of death for girls aged between 15 and 19 worldwide. UP also has the highest number of children born to children: 1 million. The joy of their innocent childhood should not be snatched from these girls said Sutapa Sanyal .