Mumbai not Metro but retro: Survey

Mumbai is a far CRY from the metropolis it is known as. A majority, 86 per cent, of respondents in the city in a recent nation-wide survery by Child Rights and You said girls should be married off between the ages of 16 and 18, while 38 per cent were unaware education is the right of every child aged 6-14 years.

The aim of the study, conducted during August-September among economically backward groups living in urban slums of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, was to understand knowledge, attitude and practice of the community on issues related to access to education with special focus on Right to Education (RTE) Act and barriers to education of girls.

Over 50 per cent of the 480 respondents across the five cities were ignorant of RTE Act.

"More than 50 per cent of respondents knew school-going girls were getting married in their locality and 48 per cent accepted these girls were not allowed to study after marriage. Yet, around 41.4 per cent of respondents said girls should get married between 16 and 18 years of age. In Mumbai, 78 per cent of respondents had knowledge of school-going girls getting married in their locality and 42 per cent said the girls were not allowed to study after marriage. Yet, 86 per cent said girls should get married between 16 and 18," reveals the study.

Forty per cent overall and an equal number in Mumbai knew more girl children were out of school than boys in their locality. The reasons given included taking care of younger siblings, household work, supporting family economically, preference to boys and parents believing education would spoil girls bringing a bad name to family. "One of four respondents felt an individual below 18 is necessarily not a child, two said an individual should not be considered a child if s/he is tall, can take care of children, do household chores, cook and work and earn. In Mumbai, seven per cent of respondents said a person below 18 years was not a child and 78 per cent said if an individual was big enough to work and earn, s/he should not be considered a child," says the study.

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