*Representational Picture Courtesy- blog.ipleaders.in

As per the law,marriage or informal union entered into by an individual before reaching the age of 18 was illegal.But in the list of states where child marriage prevailed as a social menace,West Benagl,Bihar and Jharkhand ranked as first,second and third respectively.

The National Family Health Survey-4 data show that West Bengal tops the list of highest child marriage cases at 40.7 percent against Bihar's 39.1 percent and Jharkhand's 38 percent.

Aware of it,the National Human Rights Commission has asked the government of these states to adopt a 'zero-tolerance' policy toward this social menace."We want the state governments to go for strict enforcement of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act",says a senior NHRC official in New Delhi.

"We also expect that an awareness drive is launched to contain the menace",he added.

NFHC-4 report states that Rajasthan comes fourth in the list with a score of 35.4 percent.Odisha ranks 13th with 21.3 percent child marriages occurring in the state.

In these eastern states of India-Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal,most of these child marriages took place among the poor Adivasis and Dalits. 

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