KOCHI: Considering the humongous increase in divorce cases in the State over the past decade, the Kerala State Youth Commission (KSYC) has mooted a Marital Education Act, a first of its kind in the country.
With such an Act, the Commission aims at making marital education and conduct of pre-marital medical test prerequisites for registration of marriage in the State. The KSYC has come up with the idea as there has been a 700 per cent rise in the number of divorce cases over the past eight years.
In 2005, there were 8,456 cases in family courts, which took a quantum leap to 56,474 in 2013. “The increase in the number of divorce cases is alarming. It shows that the youths often fail to maintain relationships in the proper manner. We should look into this seriously, and bring in a law for the same,” said KSYC chairman R V Rajesh.
According to statistics, 3,23,555 cases of domestic violence were recorded in the past seven years. As much as 78 per cent of all the suicides are committed by married couples, and the State accounts for 1.96 lakh of the 23.43 lakh divorced women in the country. Data available with the Indian Psychiatric Society show that 35 per cent of Keralites suffer from depression.
“Kerala has always been a pioneer of ‘change’ in the country. Despite advancements in social arenas, the State has been witnessing a very dangerous situation over the past decade, with one of the highest rates of suicide, divorce, depression, drug abuse and geriatric issues in the country. Social stigmas may inhibit a person from undergoing a pre-marital medical test. But, if it is made statutory, it would be one of the boldest steps by the government in the direction of social enhancement,” said KSYC state coordinator Rahul Easwer, adding that marital education certificates issued by competent authorities like the Women’s Commission, Youth Commission, Community Organisation, Social Organisation or registered NGOs would serve the purpose.
The Church, certain NGOs and the Kerala Women’s Commission have already been conducting pre-marital courses.