The legal age for marriage in India is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. The flouting of this law is obviously punishable. But that does not stop child marriage from being rampant across the country even in this day and age. It is often a manifestation of gender inequality , reflecting social norms that perpetuate discrimination against girls. There is an entire range of socio-economic and cultural perspectives around child marriage that prevails across castes and class and fortifies its existence in society.
Lack of education and awareness about the consequences of child marriage, poor implementation of the law and lack of will and action on the part of the administration are important reasons for the continuation of child marriage. For girls early marriage is the beginning of frequent and unprotected sexual activity which has serious health consequences.
Child marriage denies children their basic rights to good health, nutrition, education, and freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation. All children have a right to care and protection; to develop and grow to his/her full potential, regardless of their social and economic situation. Child marriage is a blatant violation of all these rights.