Census statics are generally full of surprises. But this one is startling: 6.4 million Indians under the age of 18 are already married. That’s not all. As many as 1.3 lakh girls under 18 are widowed and another 56,000 are divorced or separated. The legal marriageable age for women is 18, for men 21. A century and a half after Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s crusade against child marriage, the practice persists. Obviously, the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, exists only on paper and has not been able to deter parents from marrying off under –aged sons and daughters. The incidence is understandably higher in rural areas, but not low as expected in the cities. It’s more common in the BIMARU states, with Rajasthan leading the way ironically, the Act renders all under-age marriages illegal but not void, which means that an illegally married couple can stay married. It is, therefore, violated with impunity and hardly anyone is ever hauled up. Despite the fact that child marriage is a criminal offence, action is rarely taken by the police.
Even civil society remains a passive spectator. There’s not enough penalty-a fine of Rs.1, 000 and imprisonment up to three shows that the state does not view the crime seriously. The practice is linked to the curse of dowry. “Chhota Chhora dhhej kam mangta” (the younger the groom, the smaller the dowry demand) justifies many such alliances. The grimmest part of the scenario is the physical havoc that early marriage wreaks upon girls who are too young to bear the burden of maternal and child mortality. There is also the belief that a daughters’ marriage is a scared obligation that parents must fulfill at the earliest.
A new legislation, Prevention of Child marriages Bill, 2004, to replace the loophole-ridden 1929 Act is awaiting parliament’s approval. But legislation alone is not enough. Compulsory registration of marriages is one way of tackling the problem. Creating awareness about the ill-effects of such marriages and mobilizing committed social workers to intervence are others. However, social workers have to often function in hostile conditions. The 1992 case of Bhanwari Devi, the Rajasthan saathin who was raped for preventing a child marriage, is chilling. In the end only education, economic security and increasing empowerment of women can eliminate the problem.
1. Discuss ethically the drawbacks you find in the under-age marriages?
2. How does the increasing empowerment of women help eliminate problems if this type?
Solve any six questions:
a) What are moral hazards and why is it important?
b) What is emergent strategy?
a) What are the objectives of a business, and which is the most important? b) How many steps are there in the decision making process and what are they?
a) What CSR issues exist for NFPs?
b) What measures of performance are typically used by these organizations?
a) How globalization effect CSR?
b) Is globalization threat for CSR?
a) Why is the measurement of performance important?
b) What is ISO14000 and what factors does it cover?
a) What are the responsibilities of business in their corporate decision? b) What is the relationship between CSR and corporate behavior? Q8.
a) What are the 4 factors of sustainability?
b) What are the factors of distributable sustainability?
a) What justification does stakeholder Theory use for considering stakeholder? b) What are the steps involved in the incorporation of environmental accounting into the risk evaluation system of an organization?