Will Next Jharkhand Govt Address Child Marriage, Lack Of Education And Poor Sex Ratio?

The 2019 Jharkhand Assembly Election is coming up and Section 144 has been imposed in the state. The election will be held in 5 phases, and many national and local Parties are here, (in the state) to contest on various issues. But, it will be very interesting to see how many parties will contest the election with a view to working on education and health issues of young people.

Jharkhand is rich in mineral resources such as coal, (27.3 per cent of India’s reserves), iron ore (26 per cent of India’s reserves), copper ore (18.5 per cent of India’s reserves), uranium, mica, bauxite, granite, limestone, silver, graphite, magnetite and dolomite. We are rich in revenue generation for India, but we are lacking in the following services:

In Jharkhand, 27.4% of the population is 15 years of age (According to NHFS 4). But we don’t have proper government schools for them to attend, thus they fail to get a quality education. Recently, the Jharkhand government closed more than 6,000 schools. According to Article 21A, the Constitution of India provides us with the Right to Education, for children below age 14. But, it seems like the government is busy shutting the schools instead of upholding this right.

76% of the population resides in rural Jharkhand, and nobody can even imagine the conditions in which they are living. According to government data, 88.6% of the population has a proper drinking water source, but I can challenge this data; based on the reality in my village. More than 500 people are dependent on only 7 hand pumps, out of which 2 are not working properly. (This survey was done by my mother and me). This is not only the situation in my village but also in other villages of Jharkhand. Many villages face a water crisis during the summer season and are dependent on the polluted water from ponds, rivers, etc.

Jharkhand ranks 3rd in the country in relation to child marriage. 21% of girls turn out to be brides before their 18th birthday. 6.6% of girls are mothers before they turn 18. Our sex ratio is 967 girls for every 1000 boys. The infant mortality rate of Jharkhand is 34 per 1000. 57.3% of pregnant women are anaemic. (Data from NHFS-4).

Now, I ask all the political parties; will you consider our position when setting your agenda? Will you set any goals for young people? Will you give priority to our demands for better education, health, water, etc.?

Will you do something to reduce child marriage? Will you do something for proper water and sanitation for rural Jharkhand? Will you give priority to pregnant women and infants? We have many questions, but young people are not only the future but also the present of the nation.

*Featured image is for representational purposes only. 

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below