In India, the birth of a girl child is not welcome. Facing discrimination, humiliation, and oppression at every stage of life starting before her birth with sex determination tests and devising means to abort the foetus.

The girl child in India is viewed as a member of not the family which she is born to but, a life-less commodity whose existence and fortunes are linked to the home in which she is to be married. It is therefore not difficult to understand that families in India do not invest in the girl child on any account not even when it comes to healthcare, education and or, growth opportunities neglected because of gender discrimination. The end result is that girls will for the entire part of their live carry this scar of gender discrimination surrendering helplessly, hopelessly to the crushing fate that is their lot.

In a country rife with gender inequalities and an underlying nature of patriarchy, child marriages are a social evil we have been unable to cast aside. Due to the fear of abuse and exploitation, girls are kept at home and forced to give up school at an early age.

The legal age for marriage in India is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. The flouting of this law is a punishable offence. But that does not stop child marriage from being rampant across the country even in this day and age supporting social norms that perpetuate discrimination against girls.

Discrimination starts even before the girl child is born and sometimes she is killed as a foetus, and if she manages to see the light of day, she is neglected and or, killed

42% of married women in India were married as children (District Information System for Education (DISE) 3)
1 in every 3 child brides in the world is a girl in India (UNICEF)
India has more than 45 lakh girls under 15 years of age who are married and with a child. Out of these, 70% of the girls have 2 children (Census 2011)

Anchal Charitable Trust is committed to change

Changes that help create attitudinal shifts towards gender bias and activities to spread awareness
Advocacy and acceptance of State responsibility to implement various schemes, policies, laws, constitutional guarantees and international commitments
Gender sensitive processes within various systems
Community participation in preventing violations based on gender discrimination

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