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Kerala may be the only state in India with the highest literacy rate, but it seems the state has not been able to beat the child marriage demon. According to a report by UNICEF, notwithstanding a better gender balance in the southern part of the country, child marriage has been found to be on the rise in Kerala in recent years. 'In the southern part of India we have a relatively better gender balance which explains lower rates of child marriage. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown a rising rate in Kerala,' Unicef's child protection specialist in India Dora Giusti said.
Child marriage the huge elephant in the room
A report released by Dasra, a philanthropy foundation called Marry me later: Preventing Child Marriage and Early Pregnancy in India released a report on the phenomenon of child marriage in India. The report also highlights how millions of girls can lead a healthier life for themselves and their families if they marry later. (Read: Child marriage: When will our girls' lives be more important than religious sentiments?)
The report says India accounts for the highest share of world's 60 million child marriages and 61% of women between the ages of 25-49 were married before they turn 18. Some other statistics from the report:
Ill-effects of child marriage
The reason child marriage is a big concern is because it leads to a host of complications related to adolescent pregnancy which include:
Anaemia: Caused due to lack of red blood cells which is usually due to nutrition deficiency like iron, vitamin B12, folic acid. The most common form is anaemia. (Read: There's more to anaemia than just iron deficiency!)
Postpartum haemorrhage: The term refers to a haemorrhage (bleeding) after delivering and is quite common among adolescent mothers. It's caused due to the four Ts: Tone, Trauma, Tissue and Thrombin. (Read: Priyanka Chopra speaks out against female genital mutilation and child marriage)
With inputs from PTI
Image Source: Getty Images
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