In a shocking state of affairs, the Kerala Government’s Economic and Statistics Department shared that 4.37 per cent of the mothers in the age group of 15-19 delivered babies in 2019. The statistics report also stated that out of 20995 mothers, 15,248 were from urban areas.
From the report, it is clear that child marriages are highly prevalent in Kerala, and it’s high time we buckled our belt into resolving the issue.
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Some of the mothers, around 316 of them, had their second or third baby by the age of 20. 59 mothers had their third baby and 16 of them had their fourth baby. A religion-wise breakup of the statistics showed that 11,725 were Muslims, 3,132 were Hindus and 367 were Christians. Malappuram district showed the highest crude rate of births, followed by Wayanad and Kozhikode. The lowest crude birth rate was reported in Ernakulam and Alappuzha.
It is quite a shocker especially since most of the mothers had passed Class 10 but were not graduates. Out of the 20995 mothers, 57 were illiterate, 38 had primary-level education and 1,463 studied between primary levels and Class 10.
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Dr K V Ramankutty, a Public health expert, shared, “Obviously, this is bad for the state. Early pregnancy will affect the health of the mother and baby. Also, the mother’s chances for higher education or employment would be low in such cases. A study is required for formulating a policy to address this.”