More from Kounteya Sinha of TOI:
It’s a social ill that continues to shame India. Nearly 45% of women in the country, aged between 20 and 24, are married off before they reach 18, the legal age to marry. What’s worse, the number is over 50% in eight states.
While 61% of women in Jharkhand were married off before 18, the number stood at 60% in Bihar, 57% in Rajasthan, 55% in Andhra Pradesh, 53% each in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and 52% in Chhattisgarh.
The survey, which interviewed 1,24,395 women and reported a response rate of 94.5%, shows that this social malady exists mostly in rural India. While 52.5% of the cases of under-18 marriages were found to be in rural areas, the number stood at 28.1% in urban India.