Thursday, February 14, 2013


Child Development
Some Facts:
20%      children under 5 years of age are wasted

48%      are stunted

70%      children between the age group of 6months and 59 months are anaemic

42.5%   children under the age of 5 years are under-weight

As per the Human Development Report 2011, India is far behind achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) set by the United Nations for Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. In 2009 India stood at 64 deaths per 1000 live births against 31 in China.

(Data taken from various government newsletters for the year 2012)

India is faced with a great problem of addressing the needs of its children so that they can grow into healthy youth of tomorrow and strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation can constantly rise to higher levels of endeavour and achievement as is enshrined in one of the fundamental duties of the Constitution of India.

The present article attempts at bringing out the steps taken by the government to address this problem.

0.             International Convention

1.            The National Policy for Children, 1974
Thrust Areas of the Policy:
·         Reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
·         Reducing Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR)
·         Reducing Malnutrition among children
·         Achieving 100% civil registration of births
·         Universalization of early childhood care and development and quality education for all children
·         Achieving 100% retention in schools including pre-school
·         Complete abolition of female foeticide, female infanticide and child marriage and ensuring the survival, development and protection of the girl child
·         Improving water sanitation coverage both in rural and urban areas
·         Securing the children all legal and social protection from all kinds of abuse, exploitation and neglect
·         Complete abolition child labour with an aim of progressively eliminating all forms of economic exploitation of children
·         Monitoring, review and reform of policies, programmes and laws to ensure protection of children’s interest and rights
·         Ensuring child participation and choice in matters and decision affecting their lives

2.            Constitutional Provision
The Constitution of India provides for special treatment for children and directs the State to take care of the education and health of the children.
Article 15 allows the State to make any special provision for women and children.
Article 21A: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6-14 years.
Article 24 no child of age below 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment
Article 45 The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six.
Article 243 G  25th item of the 11th schedule entrust programmes for women and child development to the Panchayat

3.            Legislations related to children
The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994
The Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
(Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee)
The Juvenile Justice Act 2000
The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006
 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

3.            Institutional Framework for Child Welfare
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
The National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD)
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
(An Autonomous body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Its mandate is to find loving caring parents for every orphan/ destitute/ surrendered child in the country)
4.            Child Welfare Scheme
The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Scheme (SSA)

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