Child marriages continue to exist

Even after all efforts to prevent child marriage has been taken, the practice is prevalent in rural areas of Rajasthan. One in every fourth marriage of a girl and one out of three marriage of a boy in the state are reportedly child marriages.

The disappointing fact has come to light in a health survey for 2010-11. In Rajasthan 22 per cent girls get married before 18 years, while 30 per cent boys get married before 21 years.

The most disappointing figure is in Bhilwara district. Here, more than half of the girls and boys get married before reaching the legal age of 18 and 21 years respectively.

Positive sign

Another interesting fact revealed in the survey is that only half of all pregnant women were able to avail the ‘Janani Suraksha Scheme’ meant for them for institutional deliveries. 

The scheme provides free medical and maternity care for institutional delivery. The rate of such deliveries has gone up to 70 per cent n the state, which is a positive sign.

Family planning is also found to be wanting in the state. None of the 32 districts qualify to fulfill the two child norm. 

According to the survey, 64 per cent married people have adopted family planning methods. However, 45 per cent women opted for the permanent method while the percentage of men adopting family planning is negligible. 

The Annual Health Survey was conducted by the office of registrar general of India in all 284 districts (as per 2001 census) in eight ‘empowered action group states’ such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Assam.

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