Rise in Cases of Child Marriage


The data from Social Welfare Department of Assam shows that there is an increase in cases of child marriages in the state.

Area Specific

  • Most of the cases of child marriage are reported from migrant Muslim-dominated areas, specifically the ‘char’ (river island) areas and from tea plantations.

The Data

  • 3,192 child marriages were recorded from 2016-17 fiscal to the 2020-21 financial years.
  • 74 child marriages were performed during 2016-17 followed by 448 during 2017-18 and 759 during 2018-19.
  • The child marriage figure jumped to 1,089 during 2019-20. This worst scenario was witnessed after the Assam Govt. announced a gift of a ‘tola’ (11.34 grams) of gold for brides and allocated Rs. 300 crore for the gold scheme called ‘Arundhati’ and set a few conditions for a bride to be eligible for the gold. These included mandatory registration of marriage. Though government had aimed at marital reforms and checking “underage marriage”, the schemes backfired.

State Govt.’s initiative to Prohibit Child Marriage

  • Assam Govt. has appointed child marriage prohibition officers under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006 to check child marriages.
  • Village children protection committees are also being set up.