Conditional Cash Transfers and Child Marriages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: An Exploratory Study

Locations: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

Sponsor: Plan International and Mahita

The study deployed qualitative research methods of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with government officials, non-governmental organization representatives, religious leaders, families of beneficiaries, adolescent girls, and front- line workers. The field work was conducted in November-December 2018 and in all, 43 individual interviews and 6 focus group discussions with 84 individuals were done. Our findings indicate that the conditionality of minimum legal age at marriage for granting of financial assistance has led to public perception of child marriage as a detrimental practice. However, negative spin-offs such as the reinforcing of dowry and inflation of marriage expenses appears to have led to CCTs being viewed as a poverty-alleviation measure rather than as an intervention for addressing gender inequalities.