Even as many NGOs are making earnest efforts to end the practice of child marriage, a recently released census data reveal that there are 12 million children in the country who are married before the age of 10.
The data also show that girls are in a more vulnerable position when it comes to child marriage as 65 per cent among the 12 million married kids are females. Further, eight in 10 married illiterate children are girls. As many as 22 per cent among the 12 million children are illiterate.
The data reveal that in rural areas 72 per cent of the Hindu girls are given in marriage before the age of 10 while it is 58 per cent among Muslims.
According to a study conducted by IndiaSpend, a data journalism initiative that builds on open data to report on and analyse a wide range of issues for fostering better governance, transparency and accountability in the government, rural women marry two years earlier than urban women.
The average first marriage age of Hindu and Muslim women is 16.7 years while it is 20.6 among Christians and 21.9 among Sikhs.