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Drastic decline in teenage pregnancies in Assam

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently announced a significant reduction in teenage pregnancies in the state, attributing the decline to robust measures taken against child marriage. According to Sarma, the number of registered teenage pregnancies dropped drastically from 1,05,942 in the 2022-23 period to 40,012 in the 2023-24 period. Expressing satisfaction with the outcomes […]

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently announced a significant reduction in teenage pregnancies in the state, attributing the decline to robust measures taken against child marriage. According to Sarma, the number of registered teenage pregnancies dropped drastically from 1,05,942 in the 2022-23 period to 40,012 in the 2023-24 period.
Expressing satisfaction with the outcomes of the government’s efforts, Sarma emphasized their commitment to eradicating teenage pregnancies entirely. He took to social media to share the positive developments, highlighting the state’s determination to achieve a zero teenage pregnancy rate.


The chief minister presented district-wise data, revealing notable decreases in teenage pregnancies. Dhubri and South Salmara, which had 14,769 cases the previous year, saw a decline to 5,482. Similarly, Nagaon and Hojai experienced a decrease from 12,107 to 4,578, while Barpeta and Bajali witnessed a reduction from 11,449 to 4,000.
Sarma underscored that district with higher instances of child marriage and teen pregnancies often had a predominant minority population of migrant origin from Bangladesh. In response to this, the state government launched a two-phased crackdown against child marriage in February and October of the current year, resulting in approximately 5,500 arrests, primarily in minority-dominated districts.
The chief minister expressed confidence that the social menace of child marriage would be completely eliminated by 2026. As part of the ongoing initiatives, all gram panchayat secretaries will be designated as child marriage prevention officers, emphasizing a decentralized approach to address the issue at the grassroots level.
Sarma previously claimed substantial improvements in maternal and child health indicators since the initiation of the crackdown on child marriage.
Maternal deaths reportedly decreased by over 33%, while child deaths witnessed a nearly 15% reduction in the state.
The proactive measures taken by the Assam government showcase a comprehensive strategy to address the complex issue of child marriage and teenage pregnancies, aiming for long-term social transformation and improved health outcomes.

CAUSES OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY
Lack of information about sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Inadequate access to services tailored to young people.
Family, community and social pressure to marry.
Sexual violence.
Child, early and forced marriage, which can be both a cause and a consequence.
Lack of education or school drop-out.

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