Innocence Lost: Child Marriage rampant in Dhanbad, Jharkhand

In the Chatrutand Panchayat of Dhanbad District’s Baghmara Block, the practice of child marriage are rampant among the Bilhor tribe. Phool Kumari was married when she was 10 and conceived her first baby at 14. The baby survived a month.

There have been no signs of any awareness seminars, camps or campaigns. The BDO himself never came to the village or spoke to the people about the ill effects of child marriage. Neither has the Block Development Officer nor the Child Marriage Prevention Officer at Baghmara has been successful in stopping or preventing a single child marriage till date. This is despite the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006)  which criminalizes marriage between a girl below 18 years and a boy below 21 years in India. It also penalizes even those who do not inform or report of the child marriage.  

Please call the BDO of Baghmara – Girijanand Kisku on 09471191628 and demand immediate action to be taken. You can also e-mail to bdo.bagh@gmail.com 

Halima Ejaj reports from Chatrutand, Dhanbad, Jharkhand for India Unheard.

 This series on Maternal Health is supported by Oxfam India.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Halima Ejaz. Community Correspondents come from marginalized communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’  they give the hyper local context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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