Assam teenage pregnancy ratio alarming at 16.8 pc: CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that, the teenage pregnancy ratio in Assam is quite alarming at 16.8 per cent.
"Our drive against child marriage is for public health and public welfare as the teenage pregnancy ratio in Assam is quite alarming - 16.8 per cent," Himanta Biswa Sarma said. Considering a surge in cases of child marriage (below the age of 18 years) of Assam women as reported by the National Report of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the Himanta Biswa Sarma led State government is carrying the crackdown against child marriages.
He said, "We're resolved to continue this drive until we fulfill our objective. I urge the people to cooperate with us in controlling this harmful trend."
Sharing the district-wise data on teenage pregnancy, the Assam Chief Minister said that, Barpeta district has the highest teenage pregnancy ratio in the state in the year 2022 with the ratio at 28.7 per cent.
"The data revealed that a 27.9 per cent teenage pregnancy ratio has been registered in Dhubri and South Salmara followed by 24.1 per cent in Goalpara, 22.3 per cent in Bongaigaon, 21.9 per cent in Kokrajhar, 21.1 per cent in Darrang, 20.8 per cent in Morigaon, 19.4 per cent in Chirang, 18.8 per cent in Nagaon and Hojai district," said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
According to the data shared by the Assam Chief Minister, in 2022, Assam registered 6,20,867 pregnant women out of which 1,04,264 were below the age of 19.
Dhubri and South Salmara district have registered 51831 cases out of which 14438 are below the age of 19.
On the other hand, 64941 pregnant women registered in Nagaon and Hojai districts, out of which 12188 are below the age of 19 years.
The Assam government has launched a massive crackdown against Child marriage across the state.
Assam police have so far arrested 2441 persons in connection with 4074 cases related to Child marriage.
Earlier on February 4, Assam police arrested 2258 people, across the state, involved in child marriage incidents.
Police said they have a list of 8,000 accused and as the drive continues, the figures will increase.
This episode of this slew of crackdowns dates back to May 5, 2022, when the Health Ministry released the fifth report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), carried out in 2019 and 2020.
The report, following a fine and detailed reading by the Assam government, showed serious concerns regarding child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and maternal mortality.
It was found in the report that 31.8 per cent of women in Assam between 20-24 age were married at a minor age or before 18 years. This was even higher than the national average of 23.3 per cent.
Of these 31.8 per cent of women, more than half (50.8 per cent) cases were from All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MP Badruddin Ajmal's parliamentary constituency, Dhubri.
As per the government, child marriage leads to teenage pregnancy in women causing maternal deaths in the state.
Director General of Assam Police (DGP) GP Singh, while addressing a press conference on Friday, said that 4,074 cases related to child marriage have been registered at different police stations across the state.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the crackdown against child marriages in the state would continue in the coming days. (ANI)