The Ministry of Women and Child Development informed the Lok Sabha on December 22 that a total of 326 cases were registered in 2016 under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
Over the last three years, the country reported a significant increase in child marriages with maximum number of cases being registered in Tamil Nadu.
This number was a sharp increase from the 293 cases that were registered in 2015. In 2014, only 280 cases of child marrige were registered.
Minister of state Virendra Kumar furnished the data with respect to states and union territories. The maximum number of cases in 2016 were reported from Tamil Nadu (55), followed by Karnataka at 51. Other states that saw a high number of cases of child marriages were West Bengal (41), Assam (23), Telangana (19), Andhra Pradesh (19), Maharashtra (16), Haryana (14), Gujarat (12).
Puducherry, which had no case of child marriages in 2014 and 2015 registered 5 in 2016. The national capital registered two such cases in 2014, no case in 2015 and one such case in 2016.
The Ministry of Stare said that while the government was running media campaigns and outreach programmes to address the issue, there was a need to step up awareness by “undertaking drives highlighting the evil effects of this practice.”