MUMBAI: That India marries off its daughters in such a hurry that they have little time to grow out of their teens is a fact that no longer raises eyebrows. But what should come as a shock to a country that preens itself over its growing economic prowess is that we fare worse than sub-Saharan Africa, or for that matter, all of Africa put together, when it comes to child marriage.
If that's not bad enough, sample this. The degree to which child marriage is practised in India is more than double the figure for Pakistan, a country we don't quite look up to as a role model. While India would like to believe that it will one day break into the league of countries such as the US and UK, we can take solace from the fact that a worldwide scorecard on child marriage shows that we're better off than Bangladesh, Mali and Burkina Faso. The US and UK dont even figure on the list.