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Backgrounders

Children : Background & Perspective

By Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, Bharti Ali, Saloni Mathur

 India has 375 million children, more than any other country in the world. Their condition has improved in the last five decades, with child survival rates up, school dropout rates down, and several policy commitments made by the government at the national and international levels. Resource allocations by the State, however, remain quite inadequate to take care of the survival and healthcare needs of infants and children, their education, development and protection.

There are more than 375 million children in India, the largest number for any country in the world.

Analysis

Criminalisation is not enough

By Debolina Dutta and Oishik Sircar

child sexual abuse

Criminalising consensual sexual behaviour between young people in the name of prosecuting child sexual abusers is a denial of young people’s right to safe and consensual sexual relations, write Debolina Dutta and Oishik Sircar in this analysis of the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

India finally has a law to criminalise child sexual abuse (CSA) – the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (PCSO Act) – which was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 22, 2012. Just 10 days before this Aamir Khan’s TV show Satyameva Jayate’s second episode was themed on CSA.
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Related Articles

»Childrearing practices, culture and psychology By Rakesh Shukla
Read More

»Child health and the 12th Plan By Alex George
Read More

»The sounds of silence: Child sexual abuse in Indial By Havovi Wadia
Read More

Features

Anatomy of child starvation deaths

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

starvation deathsThe shocking facts about the maladministration that led to the recent deaths of severely malnourished children in Raichur and Mysore districts of Karnataka. Fifty per cent of Karnataka’s 0-6 age-group suffers from various stages of malnutrition, with many on the verge of death.

Two stories have been hogging the headlines in Karnataka over the last few weeks.  One is the sensational and sordid story of illegal mining and looting of iron ore, the vulgar accumulation of wealth by the mining mafia and their use of this wealth to buy political power, keep a stranglehold on the government and hold democracy itself to ransom.

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Related Articles

»When they shoot our parents, can we remain in school? By P Sainath
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»Saving Baby Babu By Swapna Majumdar
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»Children in the pits By Kathyayini Chamaraj
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Books & Reports

1,500 children saved in one district in two years

By Rashme Sehgal

The state of the world's children 2009Approximately 80% of maternal and infant deaths could be averted if pregnant women and newborns had access to basic healthcare services, says Unicef's State of the World's Children Report 2009. This has been proved in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh, where Unicef and the government have set up 24-hour transportation and care services.

In September 2007, UNICEF and the Madhya Pradesh government set up a call centre in the Guna district hospital to provide round-the-clock emergency transportation for pregnant women. Pregnant women in far-flung districts of the state, who had to travel in overcrowded public buses or by tractor to reach the nearest hospital, can now call on the Janani Express Yojana ambulance service to get there safely and quickly.

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Related Articles

»47% of children in India are underweight: Unicef
Read More

»The richer the district, the poorer the sex ratio By Durga Chandran
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»A world where children everywhere live beyond the age of five
Read More

Changemakers

Shaheen Mistri: Helping children break the cycle of poverty

By Shaheen Mistri

Shaheen Mistri

Shaheen Mistri is building a bridge between poor children living in slums and a broad range of institutions that cater primarily to middle class Indian children. In the process, she is creating new opportunities for poor children and helping middle class institutions and corporate houses combat high levels of illiteracy among the urban poor

Most slum children do not get marketable skills at their schools. Government schools in India provide free education, but they are poorly equipped and have a high student-teacher ratio.

Read More

Related Articles

»'All out-of-school children must be considered child labour': Shamshad Khan By Rashme Sehgal
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Stories of Change

The Koel's Song

By Manjira Majumdar

ongs from the Koel’s Flute

Poverty and inaccessibility keep the adivasi children of six villages in Birbhum district, West Bengal, out of government schools. But they are getting an innovative and creative non-formal education at Suchana. A storybook written and illustrated by the children themselves has just been published

It’s a slim storybook for children, but what’s unique about it is that the stories in it are not written for children, but by children. Called Kokiler Banshir Sur in Bengali (roughly translated that would be Songs from the Koel’s Flute), the stories in this book are short and sweet.

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Related Articles

»Practical solutions for child malnutrition By Shreya Sanghani
Read More

»Radio reporters of Jadavpur By Sushmita Malaviya
Read More

»Schoolkids show the way to 100% sanitation
Read More

News Scan

Average infant mortality falls by 30% over a decade

The overall drop in infant mortality seems to suggest that welfare measures are working. But at 50 live births per 1,000, it’s still too high to meet the MDG target of 28

Recent data from the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) report released by the census office in New Delhi shows that the infant mortality rate in India has declined by 30% over the past 10 years.

The average infant mortality rate for the whole country was 50 per 1,000 live births in 2009.


Read More

Related Articles

»Eight children go missing in Delhi every day: report
Read More

»Most child deaths in India avoidable
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»Location of anganwadis on the web
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Statistics

Global and Regional Child Labour Estimates: 1996

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Estimates of Child Labour in India by Age-group 0-14, 5-9, 10-14, 5-14 by Residence: 1961-2000

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Statewise Child Fact Sheet

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Some Indicators of Child Health

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Child farmers of Vidarbha

Bhushan: Little 'Baba'

ByJaideep Hardikar

Bhushan, who took over the family farm at barely 13 years of age

"I'll prove my father wasn't wrong when he took up farming, I'll bring my family out of debt," says Bhushan, who took over the family farm at barely 13 years of age when his father committed suicide in 2003. This year, he has begun doing the rounds of the banks for credit

"He's 19," says 75-year-old Gangubai Solav. But Bhushan doesn't look that old. He looks 16 or 17, perhaps? "No, no, he's 19," insists Gangubai, his grandmother, firmly. Bhushan's mother, Chanda, is confused. "I don't remember how old he is, but he has been our breadwinner for more than five years now."

Related Articles

»Passing on the burden By Jaideep Hardikar
Read More

»Ganesh, the big small farmer of Ralegaon By Jaideep Hardikar
Read More

»Inheritors of debt and distress By Jaideep Hardikar
Read More

Children : Background & Perspective

By Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, Bharti Ali, Saloni Mathur

 India has 375 million children, more than any other country in the world. Their condition has improved in the last five decades, with child survival rates up, school dropout rates down, and several policy commitments made by the government at the national and international levels. Resource allocations by the State, however, remain quite inadequate to take care of the survival and healthcare needs of infants and children, their education, development and protection.

Read more...

Criminalisation is not enough

Criminalising consensual sexual behaviour between young people in the name of prosecuting child sexual abusers is a denial of young people’s right to safe and consensual sexual relations, write Debolina Dutta and Oishik Sircar in this analysis of the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

child sexual abuse

Read more...

Childrearing practices, culture and psychology

Could there be some minimal universal parameters for child rearing that could be considered with culture-specific ones in cases such as the one where two Indian children were taken from their parents by Norwegian child welfare, asks Rakesh Shukla

Norwegian Child Welfare Agency

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Child health and the 12th Plan

The Approach Paper to the 12th Plan sees the projected 32% increase in India’s labour force in the next two decades as a demographic dividend. But is the 12th Plan focusing sufficiently on the health, nutrition and education of the children who will form this labour force in the coming decades, asks Alex George

Read more...

The sounds of silence: Child sexual abuse in India

By Havovi Wadia

53% of children in India face some form of child sexual abuse. To what extent will the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill help? And is it time for campaigners to replace ‘vulnerability’ with ‘oppression’ and ‘protection’ with ‘empowerment’ in the battle against CSA?

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Arrested development

As two cases of torture of children working as domestic labour in affluent homes in Mangalore and Mumbai hit the headlines, Nandana Reddy and Kavita Ratna write that bans are not the solution to child labour. Rather than policing the demand for child labour, we must address the reasons why children enter the labour market

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Media violence: Fact and fiction

Urban India witnesses intermittent public outbursts around the impact of TV violence on children. This construction of children as copycats and passive victims of media violence displaces any complicated analysis of how they actually engage with television, says Shohini Ghosh

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The significance of the Lancet study on skewed sex ratios

By Sandhya Srinivasan

While Census 2001 showed sex ratio distortions that could be correlated with the availability of sex selection technology, the Lancet study reporting 1 crore "missing" girls in India over the last generation actually analyses the reasons behind this phenomenon and quantifies the impact

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"The two-child norm only leads to female foeticide"

By Madhu Gurung

Commenting on the serious decline in the 0-6 sex ratio in India, leading demographer Ashish Bose states that the government's policies are all wrong. The two-child policy has got mixed up with female foeticide. Government slogans like 'Beti ya beta, dono ek hain' make little sense. And financial sops for couples having a girl-child can make no dent in the traditional preference for sons in India

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Redefining abuse

By Swapna Majumdar

The CSO Sakshi filed a public interest litigation in 1997 after the Delhi High Court declared that the case of an eight-year-old child, penetrated in three orifices by her father, could not be considered either rape or an 'unnatural offence'

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Anatomy of child starvation deaths

 By Kathyayini Chamaraj

The shocking facts about the maladministration that led to the recent deaths of severely malnourished children in Raichur and Mysore districts of Karnataka. Fifty per cent of Karnataka’s 0-6 age-group suffers from various stages of malnutrition, with many on the verge of death

starvation deaths

Read more...

When they shoot our parents, can we remain in school?

The Orissa government has objected to children joining the anti-Posco agitations when they should be in school. Shouldn’t the government be more concerned about the 29,000 vacancies in primary schools and the fact that police forces have occupied many schools, asks P Sainath

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Saving Baby Babu

By Swapna Majumdar

About 250 newborns die every day in Bihar. But Bihar’s new Sick Newborn Care Units, which cater to over 90,000 infants every year, have helped bring the Infant Mortality Rate down from 56 per 1,000 births in 2008 to 52 per 1,000 in 2009, just 2 points above the national average

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Children in the pits

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Children as young as 10 are working in mines in Bellary district of Karnataka, recent studies and public hearings report. It is the children of displaced and homeless families who are exploited most by the mining mafia

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Confining childhood in India

By Havovi Wadia

Do child rights activists need to step out of the boxes of ‘development’, ‘survival’, ‘protection’ and ‘participation’ into which they have confined India’s children? Do we need to interrogate child rights programming and the somewhat limiting notions of childhood around which it is built?

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In the line of fire

Thousands of children from the Gothi Koya tribe in conflict-torn Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh have become the most tragic and innocent victims of the violence between the state and the insurgents. Rajashri Dasgupta travelled to Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh where the administration has set up residential schools for these orphans and refugees

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Nipped in the bud

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Child marriage still flourishes, as a recent public hearing revealed. How should the problem be dealt with? By making all marriages under the age of 18 for girls and 21 for boys invalid, instead of only those resulting from force or trafficking as at present? Or by public education the way 12 dalit women who bring out a monthly magazine in Andhra Pradesh called Navodayam do it?

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No juvenile courts in J&K

Text & Photos: Dilnaz Boga

Minors in Jammu & Kashmir are arrested under the stringent Public Safety Act for offences such as stone-pelting and incarcerated in jails together with adults. With neither a functioning Juvenile Justice Act nor juvenile courts for young offenders as in other parts of the country, these children emerge from jail traumatised and radicalised

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A lost generation in Jammu's refugee camps

By Anju Munshi

For 19 years, Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps in Jammu have seen no change in their poor living conditions. Riddled by disease, crammed into one-room tenements, and rendered unemployable by poor education and lack of employment opportunities, a whole generation has grown up angry, depressed and alienated

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Leaving the salt pans to go to school

Children rescued from labour and given an education have seen a dramatic change in their lives. Usha Rai reports after hearing the rescued children speak at the recent National Convention on Right to Education and Abolition of Child Labour

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Little justice for juveniles

By Sriranjini Vadiraj

Children picked up for theft and assault are lodged at observation homes. Children in need of care and protection, including runaways, end up here too. What are the conditions in these homes? Has the Juvenile Justice Act passed eight years ago made any difference? This article finds out

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The hi-tech seeds of child labour

By Sujata Madhok

The fallout of Bt cotton cultivation in Gujarat has been a rapid increase in acreage under cotton, a spurt in cotton exports and consequently, a huge demand for child labourers from neighbouring states

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Children speak up

By Monideepa Sahu

The Karnataka government has passed an order making it mandatory for panchayats in the state to offer children a platform to voice their concerns and problems, through special children's gram sabhas

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Children as chattel

By Shelley Seale

Ashikul Islam and Sahiful Mondal are child labourers who today live at Muktaneer, a home for destitute boys in Kolkata. They are the lucky ones who found a refuge and rehabilitation, and went on to make an award-winning film. There are over 44 million child labourers in India

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On the streets where they live?...

By Neeta Lal

Delhi enjoys India's highest per capita income and lowest percentage of people living below the poverty line. Yet Delhi ranks first among 35 other cities in crimes against children. A recent survey reveals the exploitation and abuse suffered by Delhi's 5 million working and street children

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The missing face of AIDS

By Shelley Seale

Yesu Babu of Vambay Colony in Vijayawada is 12. He has lost both his parents to AIDS. His younger brother is positive. There are almost 2 million AIDS orphans like him in India. But the national and global response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in India has virtually ignored children

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Giving children a voice in the media

By Kavita Ratna

Children are often said to be the 'future' of the country. The fact is they are citizens today. The media must provide space for children's expressions, needs and rights. It must draw up guidelines for the representation of children to prevent sensationalism, exploitation and invasion of privacy

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CSOs demand a more comprehensive child marriage bill

By Rashme Sehgal

CSOs protest the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, which places the onus of declaring a child marriage void on the child herself or her parents, and scarcely goes further than the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929

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'Donors are stuck in sympathy mode': Ingrid Srinath

By Lisa Batiwalla

CRY, which has just changed its nomenclature from Child Relief and You to Child Rights and You, is trying to bring about an attitudinal change to children's issues, from charity-focused to issue-based support. It has also changed its approach to middle class citizens -- from merely asking them to write out a cheque to getting them to volunteer to advocate the cause of child rights, says Ingrid Srinath, CEO of CRY

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Child abuse in Mumbai: A tourist's report

By Neil Carless

Young, sick infants are carted around in polystyrene boxes and produced to extract money from sympathetic tourists. This South Mumbai scam is perpetrated right under the noses of the local police

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India is home to the largest number of AIDS orphans in the world

By Aditi Sen

Children in HIV/AIDS-affected households begin to suffer even before a parent or caregiver has died. Household income plummets, schooling is interrupted and many children are forced to work or care for a sick parent. But India has no national policy to address the impact of HIV/AIDS on children in particular

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Children on the mean streets of Chennai

By Sumithra Thangavelu

Unprecedented rains in Chennai over the last few months have destroyed the homes and possessions of hundreds of poor slum and pavement-dwellers. The worst-affected are children

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The problem of child labour intensifies in UP's carpet belt

By Rashme Sehgal

The campaign against child labour began in the carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh in the late-1970s. Three decades on, what has changed? Our correspondent travelled through the Mirzapur-Bhadohi belt, where children are hard at work making tufted carpets for the global market

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Back to school

By Freny Manecksha

Part of a campaign to eliminate child labour in five districts of Maharashtra, the staff of Tandulwadi's government school and the local community have transformed the school and lured dropouts and child labourers back into its cheerful classrooms

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Sting operation to find 'missing' girl-child

By Durga Chandran

Sting operations are not conducted by the media and law-enforcement agencies alone. The Satara-based CSO, Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, has nabbed seven doctors red-handed for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and revealing the sex of foetuses

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Delhi's skewed sex ratio: "24,000 girls go missing every year"

By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boys

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Semi-literate, and saving lives

By Freny Manecksha

Nine months ago, in one of India's least-developed districts, Malika was born, premature and underweight, with pneumonia, umbilical sepsis and hypothermia. This is the story of how she survived, thanks to the efforts of village health worker Gandhara Bhagde

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Children of the sea

By Freny Manecksha

For weeks after the tsunami, children in the fishing villages around Chennai displayed signs of trauma, and viewed the sea that had engulfed their homes and disrupted their lives with fear. Four months after the disaster, they're returning to school, and returning also, to the giving sea

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Rehabilitating children: Adoption is not the answer

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

In Gujarat, the government banned the adoption of children orphaned by the quake. In Orissa after the supercyclone, women and orphaned children were housed in Mamta Grihas within villages. After the tsunami, the adoption of orphaned children is being seriously discussed, even though it's clear that children flourish in their own cultural context

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On the road with village health workers

By Freny Manecksha

Ankur, a home-based neo-natal care programme based on the acclaimed SEARCH model, is operative in 11 villages of Osmanabad district in Maharashtra. The programme is making a tangible difference to the health of infants and mothers. Freny Manecksha goes on night calls through the twisting lanes of Chauhanwadi with two village health workers

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Fear and loathing in god's own country

By Max Martin

Akshara (8) and Ananthu (6) have been boycotted at school and in their village of Kodiyoor in Kerala because they are HIV-positive. Following pressure from several quarters, they have now been allotted a separate room at school in which to study, and a new teacher

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Orissa's child domestic workers: The 'nowhere' children

By Manipadma Jena

In a state where 48% live below the poverty line, and where natural disasters take their toll every year, it is not surprising that the population of child labour has increased by 15%. Many of these children work as domestic workers, abused, burnt and exploited in every way

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Bal Sansads: Members of Parliament at 11

By Lalitha Sridhar

As India constitutes its 14th Parliament in New Delhi, 4,000 children in Tilonia, Rajasthan, have elected 56 members of parliament to their fifth Bal Sansad. The Bal Sansad is a novel way to teach children about democratic processes. But it's not just about role-playing: children are actually responsible for school administration and solving local problems such as water management

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Pioneering government-NGO partnership to manage juvenile homes

By Lalitha Sridhar

Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the NGO Relief Foundation, has pioneered Chennai's first government-NGO partnership for the management of juvenile homes

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Orissa's IMR Mission

By Elisa Patnaik

Orissa has the highest infant mortality rate in the country at 97 per 1,000 live births. Approximately 86,000 infants die in the state each year. Poor healthcare facilities for mother and child, malnutrition, malaria and lack of awareness are major contributing factors. Can the state reduce IMR to the targeted 60/1,000 by 2005?

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Forced underground: Child labour in India's carpet belt

By Rashme Arora

Media attention worldwide has only forced the practice of child labour in the carpet weaving industry of UP, Jharkhand and Bihar underground. In several towns and villages that this reporter travelled to across three North Indian states, children continue to work the looms, but behind closed and guarded doors. Child labour is a fact of life say both factory-owners and parents of the children working here. If they do not work, how will they eat?

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Cash can't end discrimination

By Sakuntala Narasimhan

Will the recently announced cash incentives to poor mothers giving birth to girls really help to discourage female infanticide, female foeticide or the pervasive neglect of girl-children?

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The barber's wife: Sex advisor to child brides

By Pamela Bhagat

In the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, where no family planning campaign has ever penetrated, it is the Naun or barber's wife who accompanies child brides to their husbands' homes at puberty and advises them on family planning and family welfare. This traditional practice does not seem likely to change in the foreseeable future

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1,500 children saved in one district in two years

By Rashme Sehgal

Approximately 80% of maternal and infant deaths could be averted if pregnant women and newborns had access to basic healthcare services, says Unicef's State of the World's Children Report 2009. This has been proved in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh, where Unicef and the government have set up 24-hour transportation and care services

Read more...

47% of children in India are underweight: Unicef

Over half the world's underweight children live in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, says a new Unicef report on the global progress on children's issues. About 5.6 million children worldwide die every year for lack of adequate nutrients

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The richer the district, the poorer the sex ratio

By Durga Chandran

A study by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics establishes a clear correlation between the number of sonography centres and decline in child sex ratio in Maharashtra. The average sex ratio for districts with more than 100 sonography centres is 901 and for districts with less than 100 sonography centres it is 937

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A world where children everywhere live beyond the age of five

It is likely that 90 countries, 53 of them developing nations, could reduce child mortality rates by two-thirds by 2015 if they maintain their current rate of progress. Worryingly, however, 98 developing countries lag behind, finds a new Unicef report

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The disappearing girl-child

The 'First Report on Religion Data, 2001', collected during Census 2001, brings to light the persistent bias among communities against the girl-child and clarifies that region plays a greater role than religion in overall development indicators

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Streetchildren speak

By Rashme Sehgal

Ten children's organisations, 20 photographers, 12 translators and the staff of Youthreach have worked for three years to put together a volume that records the prose, poetry, pain and desires of streetchildren across India-in their own words

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State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights

The recently released State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)examines the challenges and risks faced by the younger generation, all of which have a direct bearing on their physical, emotional and mental well-being

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How globalisation affects India's children

By Rashme Arora

Pressure from the World Bank is diluting the State's responsibility for compulsory primary education and public health. A new report examines the state of India's 370 million children

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'All out-of-school children must be considered child labour': Shamshad Khan

By Rashme Sehgal

Winner of Outlook magazine's Best Social Worker of the Year award, Shamshad Khan, director of the Centre for Rural Education and Development Action, is on a mission: to rescue and rehabilitate young children working in the Mirzapur-Bhadohi carpet belt in Uttar Pradesh

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Shaheen Mistri: Helping children break the cycle of poverty

By Shaheen Mistri

Shaheen Mistri is building a bridge between poor children living in slums and a broad range of institutions that cater primarily to middle class Indian children. In the process, she is creating new opportunities for poor children and helping middle class institutions and corporate houses combat high levels of illiteracy among the urban poor

Read more...

Practical solutions for child malnutrition

By Shreya Sanghani

With half of India’s under-5 children malnourished, it isn’t enough to tell parents to feed their children a high-protein diet. At CINI’s Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres mothers learn which locally available foods are nutritious, how to cook them and how often to feed their children

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Radio reporters of Jadavpur

By Sushmita Malaviya

Child Radio Reporter is a joint initiative between Jadavpur University and Unicef to empower children to talk about subjects related to their everyday lives. They cover areas like child labour, human trafficking, broken marriages and their effect on families, especially children, and alcohol-related violence

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The koel's song

By Manjira Majumdar

Poverty and inaccessibility keep the adivasi children of six villages in Birbhum district, West Bengal, out of government schools. But they are getting an innovative and creative non-formal education at Suchana. A storybook written and illustrated by the children themselves has just been published

Read more...

Schoolkids show the way to 100% sanitation

Every house in Ghachowk village in Nepal has a toilet, and the community takes responsibility for keeping the village clean. Local schoolchildren were the first to learn these lessons and did a splendid job of passing them on to adults

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The young performers of Jamghat

Streetchildren and former child labourers have come together at Jamghat to use theatre for social awareness

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Bal Vikas Bank: Run by street children, for street children

The Children's Development Bank offers loans to poor children to start up small businesses and teaches them to become self-reliant

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Bachpan Bachao Andolan leads crusade to eradicate child labour

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan/South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude has adopted some unique strategies in its campaign to free children who are forced into slave labour

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CASP-PLAN trains slum children in hygiene

Backed by the Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme (CASP)-PLAN, Bhopal's slum children, trained by Unicef, are taking the initiative and holding workshops on the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation

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Platform No 6, New Delhi station, is home for these children

There are at least 100,000 streetchildren in New Delhi. The Salaam Baalak Trust's shelters and contact points offer some of these children healthcare and nutrition, basic literacy, counseling and vocational training

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Yogi and the Fatehgadh band

A supplementary education project in Kutch, Gujarat, shows how meaningful education is possible despite the limitations of the state-managed education system

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Earning through art therapy

Against all odds, a special school for the mentally challenged is producing artists who sell.

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Amidst the rubble

Looking after children of labourers on construction sites.

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Someone to call

A project that promises help to children who are lost, oppressed or hurt.

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From a mini-jail to a model home

The insensitivity of the government-employed staff obliged the Delhi government to seek alternative management for its home for destitute boys.

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A school for runaways

Reaching out to Kolkata's deprived children.

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SOS: A commendable concept

Over the last 40 years, the SOS Children's Villages have had an impressive track record in caring for abandoned children.

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A shelter for children of the night

A haven for the children of Mumbai's sex workers, far away from the sordid surroundings of Kamathipura.

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On the streets where they live

Delhi's streetchildren have set up an alternative forum for themselves. They meet, discuss problems, and even publish their own newspaper

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Keeping Jhuma in school

In the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, where literacy of women is just 30 per cent, Nishtha has been working to keep girl children in school and encouraging adolescent girls to participate in village activities and decision-making

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Average infant mortality falls by 30% over a decade

The overall drop in infant mortality seems to suggest that welfare measures are working. But at 50 live births per 1,000, it’s still too high to meet the MDG target of 28

Read more...

Eight children go missing in Delhi every day: report

India’s capital Delhi has one of the highest numbers of missing children. What’s more, the country has no central data on the number of children missing, or what has happened to them

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Most child deaths in India avoidable

An article published online by The Lancet shows that five avoidable causes accounted for nearly 1.5 million child deaths in India throughout the year

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Location of anganwadis on the web

The central government has asked all states to put the location of anganwadi centres on their websites and to display the Integrated Child Development Services logo on boards at anganwadi centres to bring greater transparency and spread awareness

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Cash on delivery lowers India's infant mortality rate

Paying women to deliver their children in hospital is helping India reduce its high infant mortality rate, says the first comprehensive study on the Janani Suraksha Yojana -- India’s ambitious maternal health programme

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Lancet incorrect about steep decline in child mortality, says NGO

A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet, on the decline in deaths of children under 5, between 2000 and 2010, compared to 1990-2000, has got its figures wrong on India, says Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation

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Women's participation in Jharkhand, Orissa reduces infant mortality

The involvement of trained women in healthcare in Jharkhand and Orissa has helped reduce neo-natal mortality by 45% and moderate postpartum depression by 57%, says a new study

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45,000 children die of malnutrition every year in Maharashtra

As a report by the NGO SATHI shows, a healthy GDP is no indication of the health of a state or a country’s children

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Malnutrition high among babies born to child brides

Infants born to child brides married before the age of 18 face a higher risk of malnutrition than children born to older mothers, according to research published recently

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India's children stunted, says Unicef

India has the largest number of stunted children and one of the highest numbers of underweight children below the age of 5 in the world, according to a latest Unicef report. The country also has one-third of the world’s ‘wasted children’

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Maharashtra govt limits coverage of child labour legislation

Child rights activists are agitated over the Maharashtra government’s order re-defining a child as someone under 14 years of age, instead of 18 years as stipulated by international law

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Millions of children go without basic care: HAQ report

The report ‘Status of Children in India 2008’ claims that a vast group of children living in difficult circumstances do not receive even a basic education

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Passing on the burden

By Jaideep Hardikar

Fifteen-year-old Deepak Bramhanwade was catapulted to the head of the family after his farmer father Devidas consumed pesticide and died. Devidas had debts to repay and was not eligible for the Centre's loan waiver scheme because he owned just half an acre more than the five-acre ceiling. Now his young son must bear all the responsibilities he was unable to cope with

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Bhushan: Little 'Baba'

By Jaideep Hardikar

"I'll prove my father wasn't wrong when he took up farming, I'll bring my family out of debt," says Bhushan, who took over the family farm at barely 13 years of age when his father committed suicide in 2003. This year, he has begun doing the rounds of the banks for credit

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Ganesh, the big small farmer of Ralegaon

By Jaideep Hardikar

Ganesh Kale was just eight when his father committed suicide. Now 11, Ganesh is one of a growing tribe of Vidarbha’s baccha-kisans (child farmers) who are tilling their fields, taking their crops to market, and grappling with their family’s finances and needs

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Inheritors of debt and distress

By Jaideep Hardikar

With 40,000 farmer suicides in Maharashtra between 1995 and 2007, there are thousands of households where children have been forced out of school and into the fields to shoulder the family burden. Vidarbha is one of the worst-affected regions. This series of articles by Jaideep Hardikar reports on these children who have inherited debt and distress

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