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Monday, 25 March 2019

What is Indian Government doing to prevent Child Marriage?


The first social reform issue which was taken up by the organized women in India was the “Child Marriage Restraint Act”, or the “Sharda Act” od 1929. Its goal was to eliminate the dangers placed on young girls who could not handle the stress of married life and avoid early deaths. This act prohibited marriage involving girls below the age of 15 years old, and boys below 18. 
Although this is a victory for the women's movement in India, the act itself was a complete failure. In the two years and five months it was an active bill, there were 473 prosecutions, of which only 167 were successful. The Act remained a dead letter during the colonial period of British rule in India, and this was largely due to the fact that the colonial British government did nothing to propagate awareness of it, especially in smaller towns and villages of India.
In 1978, the law was amended to make it more effective and raise the minimum age of marriage by three years: from 15 to 18 years in case of girls and from 18 to 21 years in case of boys.
To ensure that child marriage is eradicated from within the society, the Government of India enacted the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 replacing the earlier legislation of Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA, 2006) was notified to overcome the constraints of the former legislations in effectively dealing with the problem of child marriages in India and to put in place a comprehensive mechanism, and still exists as the primary legislation dealing with child marriage today.
The PCMA applies to all citizens of India regardless of religion, with exceptions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.Under the PCMA:
• The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 makes it illegal for girls to marry under 18 years and for boys under 21 years. Child marriage can be made voidable by the child but within two years of becoming an adult.
• Child marriage is a punishable offence with a fine up to INR 100,000, or up to two years of imprisonment, or both. It is a non-cognizable and non-bailable offence.
Dowry was prohibited in 1961 by the Dowry Prohibition Act, with a fine up to INR 15,000, or the dowry amount, whichever is higher, and imprisonment for between six months and five years.
Other laws that may provide protection to a child bride include the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The government has also used adolescents’ empowerment programmes (Kishori Shakti Yojana), awareness-raising to encourage behaviour change related to child marriage and cash incentives (such as theDhanLaxmi scheme and the Apnibetiapnadhun programme).

DID APNI BETI APNA DHAN HELP PREVENT CHILD MARRIAGE? In a nutshell, not really. Although the programme gave families an incentive to keep their daughters in school until the 8th grade, ICRW found that it had no effect on girls getting married before 18.
Only a small proportion of girls (14%) were married when the programme was evaluated. Most telling, there was no significant difference between girls who took part in ApniBeti Apna Dhan and those who didn’t. The programme accompanied a shift that was already happening in the state of Haryana – girls staying in school longer and delaying marriage – but did not cause the change.
On the contrary, the programme may have encouraged families to marry off their daughters once they turned 18. Girls whose families benefited from the conditional cash transfers were 59% more likely to be married once they turned 18 than girls who hadn’t participated. In fact, many families waited to cash in the money at the end of the programme as they saw it a way to cover their daughter’s marriage and dowry expenses.
Yet just as there is a lack in government ability to transform policy into action, so is there a potential for NGOs to fill this gap with information.HEEALS(Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is an organization directly involved in girls education and child marriage in India. It is working on Water Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene and Children Education projects in seven states. Through spreading education on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and organizing WASH and MH workshop, HEEALS is working to increase the attendance rates of girls in schools who drop out from school due to child marriage. HEEALS works in marginalized communities, slum schools, schools in unauthorized colonies, orphanages and refugee camps to increase the attendance rates of pupils in schools who leave their studies, reduce the number of diseases and deaths and improve the health of people across Indian society.
Caterina
WASH & Children Health Education
Coordinator


REFERENCES:
·         Goswami, Ruchira (2010). "Child Marriage in India: Mapping the Trajectory of Legal Reforms".
·         Wikipedia – Child Marriage in India, Child Marriage Restrain Act of 1929

Friday, 22 March 2019

What is World Water Day?


Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.
Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind





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Thursday, 21 March 2019

Wishing Everyone A Very Happy ,Colorful,Joyful & Safe HOLI ! :)

COME JOIN HEEALS TO EXPLORE INDIA 
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Monday, 18 March 2019

Stop Child Marriage & Save Girl and Educate Girl Child Campaign

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Stop Child Marriage & Save Girl & Educate Girl

Stop Child Marriage & Save Girl & Educate Girl Workshop Was Organized In Uttar Pradesh Schools.






Why Child Marriage is happening in India?


Child marriage in India, according to the Indian law, is a marriage where either the woman is below age 18 or the man is below age 21. Most child marriages involve underage women, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions.
Yet, recent data indicates that in the last decade there has been a significant decline in the prevalence of child marriage from 47 per cent to 27 per cent of the proportion of women aged 20-24 years who were married before age 18 from 2005/2006 to 2015/2016. National and state averages, however, mask realities at the district level, and despite the overall decline, a few districts continue to have very high rates of child marriage. Indeed, India has the largest number of brides in the world – one-third of the global total. (Child marriage rates among women in a few districts of Rajasthan and Bihar, continue to be in the range of 47 per cent to 51 per cent).
There are many causes of child marriage in India and multiple barriers to its elimination. Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In India, child marriage is also driven by:
·       Poverty: Child marriage is more common among poorer households, with many families marrying off their daughters to reduce their perceived economic burden. Girls are often married off at a younger age because less dowry is expected for younger brides.
·      Betrothal: Some girls are promised in marriage before they are born in order to “secure” their future. Once they reach puberty, ceremonies take place and they are sent to their husband’s home to commence married life.
·       Level of education: Many families consider girls to be parayadhan – someone else’s wealth. This means that a girl’s productive capacities benefit her marital family, and educating daughters is therefore seen as less of a priority than educating sons, who are responsible for taking care of biological parents in old age.
·      Household labour: Girls are often married off at puberty when they are deemed most ‘productive’ and can take care of children and conduct housework. The labour of young brides is central to some rural economies. The practice of attasatta sees two extended families exchange girls through marriage so neither family is worse off in terms of household labour.
·     Traditional customs: Customary laws based on religion are a major barrier in ending child marriage in India. Social pressure to marry at puberty can be enormous within certain castes.
·     Gender norms: There is generally a lower value attached to daughters, and girls are expected to be adaptable, docile, hardworking and talented wives. Child marriages are sometimes used to control female sexuality, sanctify sex and ensure reproduction.
·     Pre-marital sex: Marriage is used to preserve the purity of girls as soon as they reach puberty and, sometimes, to ensure that they are not “corrupted” by men of lower castes. There is a high premium placed on virginity, and as such it is sometimes considered more punya (holy) to marry off younger girls. Fathers sometimes lose credibility within communities if their daughters have sex or get married without their consent. Differentiation is made between jaangdaan (when a girl is so young she can sit on her father’s lap during a marriage ceremony) and pattaldaan (when she has attained puberty and can sit on a pedestal beside her father).
   Violence against girls: Some girls are married off due to fear of kharabmahaul – the corrupted external environment – and reports of the rape of women in public spaces. However, a 2014 study found that child brides in India are at greater risk of sexual and physical violence within their marital home.
HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is an organization directly involved in girls education and health in India. It is working on Water Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene and Children Education projects in seven states. Through spreading education on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and organizing WASH and MH workshop, HEEALS is working to increase the attendance rates of girls in schools who drop out from school due to child marriage. HEEALS works in marginalized communities, slum schools, schools in unauthorised colonies, orphanages and refugee camps to increase the attendance rates of pupils in schools who leave their studies, reduce the number of diseases and deaths and improve the health of people across Indian society.

-Caterina
WASH & Children Health Education
Coordinator

REFERENCES:
·         UNICEF India Final report 2018
·         International Institute for Population Sciences and Macro International, National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-16: State Fact Sheet for Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal, IIPS, Mumbai, 2016.
·         UNICEF-UNFPA, Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, 2017, (accessed February 2018)


Monday, 11 March 2019

STOP CHILD MARRIAGE, VALUE GIRLS!



What is a child marriage?Marriage should be a time for celebration and joy – unless you are one of the 64 million girls around the world forced into marriage before the age of 18.
Child marriage is a violation of child rights, and has a negative impact on physical growth, health, mental and emotional development, and education opportunities. It is defined as a marriage of a girl or boy before the age of 18 and refers to both formal marriages and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with a partner as if married.One in 3 girls in the developing world is married by age 18, 1 in 9 by the time she's 15.The 
United Nations Population Fund estimates that every year, more than 14 million adolescent and teen girls are married, almost always forced into the arrangement by their parents. The countries with the highest rates of child marriage are in sub-Saharan Africa, but those with the largest number of child brides are in South Asia.Each day, 39.000 girls under the age of 18 become child brides. That’s about one every two seconds.

Child marriage is the result of the interplay of economic and social forces. In communities where the practice is prevalent, marrying a girl as a child is part of a cluster of social norms and attitudes that reflect the low value accorded to the human rights of girls. It is important to notice that child marriage affects both boys and girls, but it is more common among girls. Child marriage has lasting consequences on girls, from their health, education and social development perspectives. These consequences last well beyond adolescence. One of the most common causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries was pregnancy and childbirth. Child brides are almost always married to older menand lack the standing or skills to negotiate over sex or birth control. That means many get pregnant soon after marriage, when their bodies are too underdeveloped or too small to handle it. Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s, according to the 
International Center for Research on Women.

UNICEF and UNFPA have joined forces through a Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage. The programme was launched in 2015 to cover eight states with moderate to high rates of child marriage, focusing on districts with the highest incidence. Four of the states have shown promising decline in the rates of child marriage over the past ten years – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan – and four have had more moderate progress – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal. For the first time, existing strategies in areas like health, education, child protection, and water and sanitation, are coming together to form a unique holistic programme with shared plans and goals. Working in partnership with governments, civil society organizations and young people themselves, methods that have already been proven to work will be operated at scale.

HOW TO PREVENT IT?  There are many causes of child marriage in India and multiple barriers to its elimination. Hunger, lower social status, chores, early marriage, school safety and sanitation are all barriers preventing a girl from receiving a proper education. Education can be a life-saving resource that establishes a vulnerable child’s sense of normalcy and builds self-esteem and hope for the future. Many experts consider education an essential humanitarian response to complex emergencies, closely following food, water and shelter. Also having access to basic clean water and a decent toilet saves children's lives, gives women an advantage in earning money and ensures a good food supply. Improved sanitation can keep a girl in school by making facilities available to her when she reaches puberty. Education empowers women: one additional school year can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%.
HEEALS(Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is an organization directly involved in girls education and health in India. It is working on Water Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene and Children Education projects in seven states. Through spreading education on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and organizing WASH and MH workshop, HEEALS is working to increase the attendance rates of girls in schools who drop out from school due to child marriage. HEEALS works in marginalized communities, slum schools, schools in unauthorised colonies, orphanages and refugee camps to increase the attendance rates of pupils in schools who leave their studies, reduce the number of diseases and deaths and improve the health of people across Indian society.
- Caterina
WASH Intern 




REFERENCES:
·       UNICEF India Final report 2018
·    United Nations Children’s Fund, Ending Child Marriage: Progress and prospects, UNICEF, New York, 2014.
·         5 Things you may not know about Child Marriage NPR, Washington DC
·    International Institute for Population Sciences and Macro International, National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-16: State Fact Sheet for Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal, IIPS, Mumbai, 2016.


Thursday, 7 March 2019

We Welcome Our New Intern

We welcome our New Intern From Italy.She is working on WASH & Children Health & Education Project.










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