Tripura ranks second in the list of states where child marriages among girls between the age of 15 and 19 are performed, an international study has revealed. The report also found that more than 80 per cent of child marriages were registered in three districts of the state.
Quoting data released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Young Lives – an international study on childhood poverty, said, “Tripura occupies the second position with respect to the highest prevalence of child marriages among girls aged 15-19 years at 21.6% which is significantly higher than the national average of 11.9%.”
Young Lives is a collaborative research project coordinated by a team based at the University of Oxford. The report is based on data sourced from research partners, including a range of governments, independent and academic institutions.
Speaking at the inaugural event of a seminar – ‘Development of a multi-spectral action plan to child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Tripura’ here this morning, coordinator Suntala Khan said four districts of Tripura were a part of the list with the highest prevalence of child marriages.
The report was prepared based on NFHS-4 data (2015-16) on four out of eight districts of Tripura to analyse the prevalence of child marriage and teenage pregnancy among girls.
The report also said that Dhalai district recorded 24.7 per cent of the cases, the highest in the state. South Tripura district followed suit with 24.1 per cent. North Tripura registered 19.8 per cent and west Tripura 20.4 per cent of the cases.
The report also said that 52 per cent of the surveyed girls became pregnant at least once.
“…..analysis of number of children born to teenage mothers reveals that 52 per cent of married teenage girls have given birth to one child while 45.6 per cent already have one child. At least 5.5 of them have two children and one per cent have more than two children by the tender age of 19”, the report said.
Tripura Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Nilima Ghosh said child marriages are rising at an alarming rate in the state. She laid stress on sensitizing people against child marriages and said her organization is working on devising an effective awareness plan.