Fall in the Incidents of Child Marriages in India: Annual Health Survey Report

As per Annual Health Survey (AHS), done by the census authorities, the incidents of child marriage declined considerably over the past few years.

The AHS was conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in association with the Registrar General of India (RGI) and Ministry of Home Affairs of India. The survey was held in all 284 districts of the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states that include Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam. About half of the country’s population lives in these states.The project was started to gauge the impact of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in all 284 districts. Until now, only National Family Health Survey was the means of getting reliable data, which has now been discontinued by the health ministrythe health ministry.

Major findings of the survey are:

• 1/5th of marriages in Bihar b/w 2007-09 involved women under 18.
In Jharkhand, the proportion of child marriage declined from 60% to 18% earlier.

Rajasthan, with 22 % cases of child marriage, has the highest proportion of women under 18 getting married.

• Use of Contraceptive is still low despite improvements in several regions.

• Among the 9 major states, Bihar has the lowest contraceptive use with just over 1/3rd of women aged 15-49 using any method of contraception.

Sitapur in UP is the district with the least contraceptive with only 20 % of women using any method of contraception.

• Less than 5% of women in UP had a full ante natal check-up.
Chhattisgarh, with 20 % full ante-natal check-up, came up as the best-performing of these states.

• Less than 50% pregnant women in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have safe deliveries.
UP, Bihar and Uttarakhand registered only 40 % of safe deliveries.

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