Which cricketer was involved in
spot fixing, which politician said what, which leader is secular and which
heroine flirted with which hero? Yes, these are pretty much the important
matters that every damn newspaper, magazine and new channel in this country
seems to be focusing on these days. But do we really care about these things so
much? Do we care which cricketer or industrialist used his money to lay a
stupid bet? Do we care about the dog fights between politicians? Do we really care
that a certain actor was caught canoodling an actress in some restaurant? I
think not! We care more about things that affect us and the society that we
live in. There are hundreds and thousands of pertinent issues that score way
more than vexing news items that journalists today decide to follow!
Just take the issues related to
women like female feticide, dowry related deaths, domestic violence or child
marriage. How often do we find these issues given the spotlight? Yes sometimes
they do shift focus to women related issues but that is very short lived. Except
as a red ticker in television do these issues find any voice; an outlet even to
affect any change? Well, sadly no!
I don’t know if you know that 68.9
percent of the marriages in Bihar involve girls below the age of 18. (Source:
UNICEF). Well honestly I didn’t know this. It’s not that I live in oblivion for
I know about the way women are looked upon and treated in our country. And as
many would like to believe that women are looked upon as goddesses and revered as
life givers; statistics and reality show otherwise! So I did know that child marriage is still practiced
but never in my wildest dreams had I thought that the number was so
There was a time when girls were
married off very early. My grandmother herself was married when she was just a
teenager, not even 18. But that was several decades ago but after that things
changed considerably. And by the time it was my mother’s turn it wasn’t before
she turned 26 that she was married. So I find it very hard to believe that even
today girls are married off before they even attain mental and physical
But what do I do to stop it? Can I
at all do anything about it? It’s sad but I don’t really know what I can do!
Let us ask ourselves a question.
Let us ask ourselves as to why are girls married off at such young age by their
own parents. They know fully well that their child is not ready for carrying
the burden of marriage at that age, don’t they? And yes marriage is undoubtedly
a burden at that age when books and toys should be the center of their lives and
definitely not in-laws, husbands or children! It is scary to think that at the
innocent age of 16 or even less, a girl is forcibly pushed through the gates of
a marital home. Poverty, social norms which inevitably transform a girl child to
a burden for parents and lack of education are probably the foremost reasons
for this plague’s sustenance in our society.
People need to be educated. It is
only then that they would see through the vices in this society which to this
day persist as norms or traditions. If people are educated and provided avenues
to earn, it would help them fight poverty. If that happens they would not push
their daughters into the clutches of unwanted child marriage just to wash their
hands off their responsibilities. If people are educated they would realize that
dowry is not really a tradition but a bane. Perhaps then they would not bow
down to these pressures and thereby many young girls would be saved from child
marriages. And on top of that education would make them realize that at that
young age a girl is neither physically nor mentally prepared to take the
But all these involve several ifs
and buts. Education and avenues to earn cannot be provided just by the common
man. It needs government support. But then again that is a door that seldom
opens. Nevertheless there are NGOs and community-based organizations which
actually work towards accomplishment of these goals. Ofcourse, it is not easy.
And it requires funds too.
While we might be too lazy to
venture out and do something apart from arm chair activism (Myself included),
there are people actually working hard on the ground for the same. So perhaps
if not anything, we can atleast spread the word and contribute whatever we can
financially or through blogging action so that these angels continue their good
work and actually bring about the much needed change. What do you say?
At the age tender,
Of youth’s splendor,
She’s chained, she’s caged,
Against her will engaged,
To dwell in chores,
And not want more,
To bear a child,
For norms beguiled,
To grow up hasty,
People’s rules nasty,
This sorry plight,
Not fair, not right.
No longer it be the sight,
End it with every might.
Whatever the cost, whatever the pain
Life of a girl not to be in vain!