Manjhi wants marriage age raised to 25

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has favoured raising the minimum age for marriage to 25.  He argued that the move, if implemented, would save children born from the risk of malnutrition.

At an informal interaction with newsmen after his weekly Janata Durbar here on Monday, Manjhi said, “If a boy gets married at the age of 25, he will be in a better state to take care of his wife and help deliver a healthy baby.”

Advocating that each couple should try to keep a gap of minimum five years between two children, as against the much-publicised three years, Manjhi said children, whose mothers did not get proper attention and care, often fall prey to malnutrition.

To drive home his point, Manjhi cited his own case and said, “During our times, we used to observe celibacy till the age of 25. I got married after 25. And look at my health at this age of 70. I hardly take any medicine. I don’t even use spectacles. It’s only of late that I have felt a rise in blood pressure.” This was the second occasion in the last one week when Manjhi favoured raising the marriage age to 25. Earlier, while speaking at a programme organised by Social Welfare department, Manjhi had underlined the need to make child malnutrition-free Bihar.

On Monday, Manjhi also clarified that he had gone to New Delhi to meet Lalu Prasad as a ‘courtesy visit’ and not to take the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s chief nod to include his party legislators into the Cabinet.

“The grand alliance of the Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress is intact. And there is no dispute over the leadership issue either today or post-2015 elections,” said Manjhi putting a lid over Nitish’s recent comment that he (Nitish) was ready to don the chief minister’s mantle once again if the voters were willing to pay him his wages.  

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