December 8, 2021
The lockdown imposed forced many families into debt and poverty. Unable to care for their children, many considered the weddings of their underage girls as necessary for survival. According to the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, from the last week of March up until June 2020 alone, authorities received 5,584 phone calls to prevent underage marriages across India. Child rights activists believe many ceremonies have gone unreported. Reetika Revathy Subramanian, a PhD candidate and Gates Cambridge Trust Scholar at the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, who is researching the links between early marriage and economic hardship, speaks to All Indians Matter.