UP districts records maximum underage marriages among girls

Uttar Pradesh's Shrawasti district has the maximum number of girls marrying below 18 years of age in the country while Bahraich of the same state comes second. A whopping 82.8 per cent of girls in Shrawasti are married off before the legal age of 18 with the corresponding figure in Bahraich being 70.7 per cent.

Bihar and Rajasthan are the two other states with very high underage marriage. While Bhilwara in Rajasthan reported 65.1 per cent girls marrying under 18, the figure in Banka in Bihar is 59.9 per cent, according to data available with the Women and Child Development Ministry.

The ministry would take stock of all these figures while launching the “Sabla” programme for the health of adolescent girls as a pilot project in 200 districts of the country from November.

The project is due to come up for approval at the next cabinet meeting, official sources told PTI. If successful, the programme would be extended to all the 600 districts of the country, they added.

Some of the other districts that have very high underage marriages are Mahbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh (48.3 per cent), Panschim Champaran in Bihar (57.8 per cent), Giridih in Jharkhand (50.3 per cent), Rajgarh (55.3 per cent) and Sheopur (52.3 per cent) in Madhya Pradesh.

The hilly states seem to fare far better as compared to their counterparts in plains. Chamoli in Uttarankhand has only 0.1 per cent of girls marrying below the age of 18 years. Some of the hilly districts faring well in this parameter are Chamba in Himachal Pradesh at 0.8 per cent, Kullu in the same state at 0.5 per cent.

North Goa has 1.6 per cent and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu has 0.7 per cent.

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