Andhra’s Krishna District No Longer Child Marriage Hub
Krishna district in Vijaywada has been known to be the hub for child marriages throughout the nation. But in recent years, the area has seen a noteworthy decline in such marriages.
The women and child welfare department, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and Young Lives India worked together to devise an action plan to be followed in the area.
“We have held a number of awareness campaigns and also a large number of instances have been foiled by our department in coordination with the local police. From providing counselling and education to them, the number of child marriages has come down drastically,” district women and child welfare project director Krishna Kumar told TOI.
The officials said that empowering girls with education, hosting awareness campaigns and providing them with financial aids in rural villages helped in curbing child marriages.
An expenditure of about Rs 3,600 crore has been incurred by the state government since 2011. The money has been used for conditional bicycle transfer, cash transfer, girls’ toilets and training for 14-year-old girls.
Child Marriage Data in Andhra Pradesh
The 2011 census revealed that about 1.71 lakh girls got married before turning 18 in Andhra Pradesh. The results for boys were also not very different and about 1.72 boys got married before turning 21.
The last National Family Health Survey – IV had also reported that 26.8% of women between the ages of 20-24 got married before they reached the legal age of 18 in Andhra Pradesh.
Even though Krishna district has seen considerable decline in the number of child marriages, it is still ranked on top with the highest percentage of child marriages in the region.
Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.tv