6225 cases were reported in Rajkot and 5665 in Kheda.
According to the report, the largest number of women married before the age of 15 in the state is from the four major districts of Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat. All these four districts have high levels of urbanization. Talking about Vadodara after Ahmedabad and Surat, there were 7673 child marriage cases, 6225 cases in Rajkot and 5665 cases in Kheda.
Marriage of women in the age group of 15 to 19 is more
The data, given as part of the census as well as the NFHS (National Family Health Survey) 3 and 4 District Child Protection Plan guidelines, showed that the number of women in Ahmedabad has increased, at the age of 15. Got married Which was 2.36% of the total women in that age group. Considering the number of women in the age group of 15 to 19 who were married, the number has increased considerably for all the districts.
Only 15 cases were found guilty
The report said that there is a need to focus on stopping child marriages, especially marriages in the age group below 15 years. The report also said that every 77th girl in the state is getting married before the age of 15. At the same time, a CAG report also said that between 2009-14, about 659 child marriage complaints were filed in the state, out of which only 15 cases were proved guilty.
Dr. Jessie Patel, HOD, Department of Sociology at Gujarat University, said that, instead of focusing on urban and rural areas, the focus should be on communities where such marriages take place on a large scale.
It is a social custom for the people
Dr. Patel said, when you say that the number in districts like Ahmedabad is very high, which is highly urbanized, then you need to find out the communities in which these marriages took place. He further said that it is only when such communities are targeted for awareness that the problem will be solved.
It shows that somewhere the government and society have failed to create the awareness that is needed. Also, those who get their children married do not believe that they are breaking any rules. It is a social custom for them. Only the government looks after the law and order issue.
Reasons for childbearing in Ahmedabad and other 3 urban districts
According to NFHS 4, 50.4% of women in Gandhinagar and 41.7% in Kheda are in the age group of 20-24 where they are married before the age of 18. An official associated with an NGO working with children said that the reason for such high number of marriages in Ahmedabad and other 3 urban districts is that more people migrate.
In some local tribes this issue is more serious
While this problem has also been found in rural areas of Gujarat, the 2011 census data shows that the issue is more serious in some local tribes like Bhils, Dhodia, Halapati, Gamit, Kokna, Noka, Rathawa and Worli, which make up the state. They constitute 40 percent of the total tribal population, which extends from Banaskantha in the north to Dang in the south. The number of child married persons in it is more than 11,500.
Why child marriage could not be stopped in Gujarat?
Child marriage in Gujarat has not been stopped despite the enactment of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006. Meanwhile, census figures also show that there are 9,930 married (3,945 males and 5,985 females) among the Scheduled Castes in Gujarat aged 10–14. Of these, 469 are widows, 197 are separated and 104 are divorced. Surprisingly, 5,523 were found among married scheduled caste adolescents in urban areas as compared to 4,407 in rural areas.