About Child Marriage in Karnataka
Karnataka accounts for 23.2 % of child marriages in the Country. The practice is prevalent in almost all districts according to the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Though the state has a strong framework of policies to ensure the safety and rights of girl child, in practical terms, it is not adhered rigorously. The practice is mostly found in socially and economically disadvantaged communities in rural areas. Poverty, migration, illiteracy, tradition, family pressure and fear of sexual violence are the major causes of early marriages.
Initiatives for Married Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment (IMAGE), is the project specifically designed to empower married adolescent girls, who are one of the unattended children in the society. They are neither treated as children nor an adult, no one cares for their rights, security and opportunities. This project is presently implemented in 5 districts of Karnataka with the objective of providing, health, education, skill development, sexual and reproductive health and rights(SRHR), social protection and protection from gender-based violence.
Its operational area
The project is implemented by a consortium formed with 6 civil society organisations in 5 districts of Karnataka, with the financial and technical support of Terre des Hommes – Netherlands (TdH-NL). It covers identified 3,077 girls who were married before the age of 18 years with the overall objective of ‘Empowering Early Married Girls towards Social and Economic Independence by collectively Involving Government, CSOs, and Community to be responsible in addressing the needs towards sustainability’.
The specific project objectives are;
To facilitate available health and social security services to early married girls and prevent gender-based violence & adolescent pregnancy.
- To facilitate increased access for early married girls to secondary education and job-oriented vocational training.
Being the project addressing the community issue, we are partnering with various agents of change from the ASHA Workers, Anganwadi teachers, Health staff from PHC, elected community leaders, religious leaders, Block and district level Government officials. The programme intends to create lasting behaviour changes of EMGs, their spouses and their families. The general public and media are unable to understand the rights of adolescent EMGs and the subsequent need to protect these girls from harmful circumstances.
Later, the project intended to expand the operation to another 2400 married adolescent girls in neighbouring 2 districts. District Statistics can be given here by a particular organisation.
ARPANAM TRUST covers 600 Early Married Girls (EMGs) from 11 Grampancyats under Bagepalli Block in Chikballapur district under IMAGE Programme.
What do we do?
We are working in five areas of project interventions with Early Married Girls (EMGs)
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) – The project creates awareness to EMGs on reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, avoiding early union and help them to postpone their pregnancy and spacing between the pregnancy.
- Education – EMGs who are interested to continue their formal education are either re-enrolled in the schools or supported to write their exams privately. Tutorial support and education materials are provided to them from the project. Opportunities created for future livelihood by provided job Oriented Vocational training to interested EMGs.
- Health and Nutrition – The project creates health awareness to EMGs and vulnerable girls, also provides health services and referrals to EMGs
- Gender based violence (GBV) – The project supports the EMGs against Gender Based and Domestic violence by creating legal awareness and referral services. It also works with the spouses and family members of EMGs for behavioral change and norms .
- Social protection – Advocating with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure access of various welfare schemes and entitlements available for the married women. Support to EMGs to access general civic IDs and entitlements.
Our Achievements So Far
SOCIAL Mobilisation Status
- No of Family Clubs : 21 nos
- No of family members : 254 nos
- No of Kishori Clubs : 31 nos
- No of Kishoris : 316 nos
- No of Spouce Clubs : 21 nos
- No of Spouses : 265 nos
- No of Children Clubs : 30 nos
- No of Children : 453 nos
- Total number of Vulnerable girls reached : 523 nos
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
- Postponement of Pregnancies -87 EMGs
- Spacing between two children (Birth Spacing)-207 EMGs
- Family planning (Tubectomy) -81 EMGS
- Formal -76 EMGs
- Informal – 13 EMGs
- Vocational Training -86 EMGs
- Tuition Services – 13 EMGs
Health and Nutrition
- Supplementary vitamins and nutrition – 66 EMGs
- Health check ups -74 EMGs
- Nutritious counselling -264 EMGs
- Awareness -160 EMGs
Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
- Through the usage of IEC materials and counselling by Project Team – 375 EMGs
- Trainings, house visits by Field staff, counselling, case interventions -303 EMGs
- Through awareness and video clippings -140 EMGs
- Awareness creation on various civic IDs and entitlements -375 EMGs
- Availment of various civic IDs and entitlements – 67EMGs
- Aadhaar card, BPL Card & Bank account – 8 EMGS