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Friday, 30 November 2018

AN ECONOMIC SOLUTION TO CHILD MARRIAGE?


AN ECONOMIC SOLUTION TO CHILD MARRIAGE?

According to UNICEF, every years about 700 millionof child girls get married in the whole world.
Specialists claim that the end of child marriage practice could add more than $4tn to the global economy, curb population growth and transform the lives of millions of young women worldwide.
Particularly, a recent study by the World Bank(WB) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), the first to quantify the financial cost of that phenomenon, suggests that eradicating child marriage would save governments money while enabling girls to complete their education and get better jo“this research provides crucial evidence showing that child marriage does not just impact the lives of the 700 million girls married every year, but also has a major negative impact on the economic development of the countries in which these girls live”.


A closer look to Indian currently situation reveals that, in the Country, more than 26 million women became brides before 18. One of the several reason is that, here, marriage tend to be very expensive for the bride’s family and it is a common understanding that more the girl is young more the expense for the marriage fall down, especially because in communities where the bride’s family pays the groom a dowry, they often have to pay less money if the bride is young and uneducated.Moreover,pooer families not only can not afford a good level of instruction for their children but also they strongly believe that it is better for them working instead of studying. Likewise, often those families must sell their children into marriage either to settle debts or to make some money. It is a cruel but, at the same time, real fact that giving a daughter in marriage allows parents to reduce family expenses by ensuring they have one less person to feed, clothes and education.

Governments and other policymakers should be spurred on by these data to commit additional energy and resources to ending child marriage as soon as possible. Doing that, it is possible to alleviate endemic poverty and to ensure that girls,everywhere, have access to a brighter future. At the same time, it is also true that defeating child marriage it is a paramount step for cutting institutional expenses and for increasing the national economy.
As a matter of fact, child marriage practice deeply annoy the Indian public system, increasing the sanitary system’s spending, the level of poverty, that one of population and, simultaneously, reducing human capabilities. These benefits would be felt particularly strongly in poorer segments of populations, since young girls in poverty are more likely to marry early than girls from other socio-economic groups.

Under this perspective, India Government has launched a few “Girls’ Development Projects”. Among those, the most remarkable, from the economic point of view, is the SUKANYA SAMRIDDHI YOJANA ACCOUNT, which has been promoted from January  2015, under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative.
For fully understanding how that Programme works, it is necessary considering his 10 main features, explained in the apposite guide, provided by India Government.
1.      A guardian can open only one account in the name of one girl child and a maximum two accounts in the name of two different girl children.
2.      A Sukanya Samriddhi account can be opened in the name of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years.
3.      Sukanya Samriddhi accounts can be opened in post offices and in designated public banks.
4.      Deposits can be made up to 14 years from the date of opening of the account.
5.      After this period, the account will only earn interest according to applicable rates.
6.      The account can be closed after completion of 21 years.
7.      Deposits made into the Sukanya Samriddhi account, the interest earned, and the maturity amount are tax-free.
8.      The minimum deposit that needs to be made every year into Sukanya Samriddhi account is now Rs 250.
9.      The maximum amount that can be deposited into Sukanya Samriddhi account on a yearly basis is Rs 1.50 lakh.
10.  Partial withdrawal from a Sukanya Samriddhi account, up to 50% of the balance at the end of the preceding financial year, can be made after the account-holder attains the age of 18, according to the India Post website.

The principal purposes of the Sukanya Samriddhi accountare:
·         Ensuring financial security of a girl child when she comes adult.
·         Making sure the education of the girl child continues uninterrupted.
·         Making sure that the girl is not married off before she becomes an adult (18 years old).
All of them have been thought to cope with the problem of child marriage in India.

According to BussinessToday, till November 2017, more than 1.26 crore accounts were opened across the country securing an amount of Rs 19,183 crore.

Although this noble initiative, the rate of child marriagge in India is one of the higest so far. It seems that parents, who maybe open that account for their daughters, decide to use that money for celebrating a good marriage instead of affording a good level of education.

To sum up,nowadays child marriagge practice is too spread in India, so it is not possible solve it with a simple and singular economic proposal. Having said that, in my opinion only an integrate strategy, which include both economic and social aspect, could have concrete result in the long time.

Martina Scavino

WASH & Intern coordinator 

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