The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown had led to a serious economic crisis in many families. Many children also get stressed and distracted from their studies and online counselling cannot be effective compared to direct sessions. Child marriages could be reduced if schools reopen.
Maharashtra’s intervention rose sharply in 2021 and 2020, when 200 and 360 cases were reported, respectively against 2019 and 2018, when 116 and 110 cases were noted.
The worsening of poverty during the pandemic may well have led to a worrying spurt in marriages of girl children in India. The information available indicates that has happened, pushing back the progress of recent decades in reducing child marriages.