“Ideal age of marriage for girls should be between 16 and 18 years,” say Delhi’s poor

A large number of Delhiites in the low-income group believe that the ideal age of marriage for a girl should be between 16-18 years while nearly 45 per cent of the respondents in a study conducted by non-government organisation Child Rights and You (CRY) and released in New Delhi on Wednesday accepted knowing school-going girls getting married in their locality.

The study titled ‘A rapid assessment of knowledge, attitude and practise on prevalence of barriers to girl child education among lower income groups of the society’ also noted that “in Delhi 33 per cent of respondents agree that a girl child is abused in the school and almost 48 per cent respondents said that girls are abused while going to school”.

The survey carried out in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore highlighting the survey results in the Capital said: “Forty-three per cent of the respondents said that children face problems while going to school and more than half of the respondents said that the present transportation was not safe for girls going to school.”

CRY volunteer action director Yogita Verma said: “The report on girl children’s education clearly brings out an urgent need to address the issue at all levels. While we have made rapid strides in universalisation of primary education over the last two decades, there are still significant gaps especially at the level of secondary education. The findings of the survey conducted by CRY volunteers reinforce the fact that attitude of people towards girl child education is one of the major barriers. It is clear that there is a need for large scale attitude change.”

The survey also noted that in Delhi 48 per cent respondents considered an individual below 18 years as not a child.

“Further, 37.4 per cent respondents said that if an individual was big enough to work and earn his or her livelihood then the individual should not be considered a child. Twenty-nine per cent respondents in Delhi were unaware of education as right of every child in the age group of 6-14 years. In the city more than half the respondents lacked awareness about scheme/s for girl children and 37 per cent respondents in the city said that girls should get married earlier than boys.”