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Updated: October 14, 2009 16:30 IST

Not made in heaven

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Married! A childhood lost. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
The Hindu Married! A childhood lost. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

According to a UNICEF report more than a third of the world's child brides are from India, leaving children at an increased risk of exploitation despite the country's growing modernity and economic wealth. Nearly 25 million women in India were married in 2007 by the age of 18, said the report, which noted that children in India, Nepal and Pakistan may be engaged or even married before they turned 10. Millions of children are also being forced to work in harmful conditions, or face violence and abuse at home and outside, suffering physical and psychological harm with wide-reaching, and sometimes irreparable effects, the report said.

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