Nepal | July 14, 2020

Child marriage rampant in Saptari

Himalayan News Service
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file photo of a minor holding her child. Photo: THT

Rajbiraj, March 14

Saptari has become the district with most number of child marriage cases in the country.

At a press meet organised by Child Marriage and Dowry Elimination National Campaign Nepal in Rajbiraj, the campaign’s Coordinator Raj Kumar Mahato said that 83 per cent people got married when they were under 18 last year in the district.

Similarly, those tying the knot below 15 were 28 per cent. The research was carried last year.

Mahato said that child marriage was escalating due to increasing dowry system and the evil practice was spreading to the hills and mountains from the Tarai region.

He argued that negligence on the part of the government and political parties had caused child marriage to go up.

“If a daughter is educated, she requires an educated groom resulting in more dowry. This thinking has flourished among parents in the plains”, Mahato said. “Due to this reason, parents prefer to marry off their daughters at a tender age instead of educating them,” Mahato added.

Goodwill ambassador CK Singh of the national campaign said that Nepal ranks tenth in child marriage in the world and ranks third after Bangladesh and India in South Asia.

Singh reasoned that child marriage reduction was not possible in the plains without lessening it in India’s Bihar, UP and Jharkhand.

“Due to cultural and religious ties between Nepal and India, joint efforts have to be made to reduce and eliminate this problem both in Nepal and India at the same time,” Singh added.

The major cause of child marriage is dowry. “Only 18 cases against dowry were registered across the country last year.

Of them, 12 were registered in Kathmandu and the remaining outside the Valley,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on March 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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