Tripura occupies the second position in India in terms of child marriages among girls between 15-19 years of age, an international study has found. Over 80 percent of total child marriages in the state take place in rural areas of three districts said the report.
‘Tripura occupies the second position with respect to highest prevalence of child marriage among girls aged 15-19 years at 21.6 per cent which is significantly higher than the national average of 11.9 per cent,’ said Young Lives – an international study on childhood poverty, quoting data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).
The study is a collaborative research project coordinated by a team based at the University of Oxford. Young Lives India Coordinator Suntala Khan said the study found four districts of Tripura in the list of top 100 districts of the country which have the highest prevalence of child marriages.
Khan addressed a workshop on ‘Development of multi-spectral action plan to child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Tripura’ here. The Young Lives report, prepared on NFHS-4 (2015-16) data, said Dhalai district had 24.7 per cent prevalence of child marriages, which was the highest in the state. Other affected districts are South Tripura, North Tripura and West Tripura.
The report also said 52 per cent of the surveyed girls were found to have conceived pregnancy 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, 5.5 per cent had 2 children and one per cent had more than 2 children by the tender age of 19,’ the report said.
Tripura Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Nilima Ghosh said child marriage rate is increasing at an alarming rate in the state.