March against child labour and trafficking in Guwahati
GUWAHATI, December 8, 2012: In a bid to sensitize the masses and
strengthen concerted and collaborative efforts to fight child labour and trafficking, Bachpan
Bachao Andolan and Global March against Child Labour in association with
the state government and Assam State Legal Services Authority are going to organize a 300 kilometre march on Saturday. The march will be flagged off by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir
and senior judge of the Supreme Court and executive chairman of National
Legal Services Authority (NALSA) Justice DK Jain. The march will pass
through Nalbari, Barpeta, Sorbhog, Bongaigaon, Chapar, Bilasipara, Kokrajhar and will culminate at Dhubri. Over 150 people who have been
victims of child labour and trafficking will be leading the rally.The founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and chairperson of Global March
Against Child Labour said, "The northeast, particularly Assam, is emerging as one of the biggest source area, transit route and
destination for trafficking of children for forced labour. Assam is the
choicest place for the child traffickers to thrive on account of frequent natural calamities, insurgency, acute poverty, illiteracy an
ignorance of the masses and weak law enforcement." "Children from NE are trafficked for forced labour as domestic help in
metros and are physically abused and sexually exploited. Every year 4000
children go missing from the state. They are sold off at the rate of Rs 1 lakh for marriage
purposes, Rs 1.50 lakh for prostitution and Rs 5000-Rs 6000 for bonded
labour," he added. He added there are 40 placement agencies who are operating in Delhi,
Bangalore, Tirupur and other parts of South India. These agencies do not keep official records. They work for bringing people from northeast and
are run by people mainly from Assam residing there.
"The conviction procedure related to child labour and trafficking is
very poor. In the year 2007-11, 17,558 inspections were made by the government in Assam out of which 58 prosecutions were made and there
were 9 convictions. In northeast, total 26,553 inspections were made out
of which 64 prosecutions were completed and 15 of the accused were convicted. Police and labour department should take the responsibility
to persuade the conviction. Government prosecution should meet a logical
end," he added. "In Assam, bonded child domestic workers are increasing. Children and
women from Bihar, West Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked
and are forced to work in the coal mines of Assam and tea gardens," he added. Source: Times of India
Google4Doodle: Chandigarh lad emerges victorious
NEW DELHI, November 15, 2012: Google India has announced that Arun Kumar Yadav, a class 9 student of
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ch andigarh, is the winner of this year's the fourth edition of Doodle4Google (D4G) contest. Chosen out of 13 finalists, the resident of
Chandigarh was felicitated by Rajan Anandan, managing director,
Google, India, in New Delhi today. The Doodle4Google competition, an annu al competition hosted by Google
India, was launched in 2009 and is open to students from grades 1 to 10,
who are invited to design the Google Doodle to celebrate Children's Day in the country. The theme for this year's competition was
'Unity in Diversity,' and over two lakh entries were received from more
than 1000 schools across 60 cities. On the jury were famed actor Boman
Irani and political cartoonist Ajit Ninan, who went through the entries
to decide the final 13 Doodles, which were then exhibited for online voting to choose the final winner.
"Doodle4Google is a great platform for youngsters of India to showcase
their talent on an international platform. We have seen tremendous response
from India over the years. Another exciting element this year was that we saw participation from cities beyond the four metros, which
is a clear indication that we are well underway to taking the internet
to the next billion," said Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India.
The winning doodle, titled 'India - A Prism if Multiplicity'
go live on the Google India's homepage on November 14, National Children's
Day. The picture reflects the artistic merit, creativity, and expression
of the theme. This doodle will also be featured on a special colour pack
and drawing book by Classmate.
Exposure to traffic pollution harms kids' lungs
October 16, 2012: Children with allergies when exposed to traffic related
pollution may be particularly vulnerable to diminished lung function up to eight years of age, says a
study. "Earlier studies have shown that children are highly
susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution and suggest that
exposure early in life may be particularly harmful," said researcher
Goran Pershagen, professor of environmental medicine at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
"In our prospective birth cohort study..., exposure to traffic-related
air pollution during infancy was associated with decrease in lung function at age eight, with stronger effects indicated in boys, children
with asthma and particularly in children sensitised to allergens," added Pershagen, the
/American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine/ reports. The study included more than 1,900
children, who were followed from birth through age eight with repeated questionnaires, spirometry and
immunoglobulin E. measurements, according to a Karolinska statement. "Our study shows that early exposure to traffic-related air pollution
has long-term adverse effects on respiratory health in children, particularly among atopic children," Pershagen said.
"These results add to a large body of evidence demonstrating the detrimental effects of air pollution on human health," he added.
Google is inviting Indian children to doodle their ideas on diversity.
MUMBAI, October, 4, 2012: Google is inviting Indian children to doodle their ideas on diversity.
The company on Wednesday announced the 2012 Doodle 4 Google competition where children between the ages of
5 and 16, will be invited to create a doodle (using the Google logo)
around the theme of 'Unity in Diversity'. The winning doodle will be featured on Google India's home page on
November 14, Children's Day .Over the years, the Google doodle has become a popular and innovative
way for the company to commemorate important events, like the independence days of various countries (Including India's, which was
depicted with a peacock doodle, special days and events like the Olympics , and celebrate the
birthdays of well-known people, among other things.
Now Indian children will get a chance to have their work of art put online.
Announcing this year's competition, Nikhil Rungta, country marketing head at Google India
, says: "Doodle 4 Google is a great opportunity for students to
explore the intersection of art and technology, while sharing their talents and creativity on a national scale. Through this
programme, we hope participants will have fun, think creatively and learn something new all at the same time."
According to Rungta, last year's winning doodle by Varsha Gupta, from
Delhi NCR, showcased in vivid detail the land of different cultures that is India.
"This year we expect the children of India to showcase to the
world how India is united in diversity," he added. Source: The Economic Times
Indian under-fives the most vulnerable in the world
New York, September 13, 2012: Despite the government's efforts to improve maternal and child health,
the latest report released by UNICEF shows India had the highest number of deaths of children under five years of age in 2011.
World Health Organisation (WHO) India Representative Nata Menabde, however, says that given the
size of the population, absolute numbers will always be high in case of
India. This should not overshadow the fact that the country has made significant progress in the field of health.
The UNICEF report, released Thursday in New York, says almost 19,000
children less than five years of age die every day across the world.
India tops the list of countries for 2011, with the highest number of
such deaths at 16.55 lakh. As per the report, even as overall child mortality in the world has gone
down, under-five deaths are increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan
Africa and South Asia. In 2011, 82 per cent of under-five deaths occurred in these two regions,
up from 68 per cent in 1990. In 2011, about half of global under-five deaths
occurred in just five countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Pakistan and China.Though on the top of list in terms of absolute
numbers, in terms of child mortality rate, India ranks 49th with 61 deaths per thousand
children in 2011. Sierra Leone has the highest child mortality rate of 185 per thousand.
"There has been lot of improvement in last couple of years, with interventions like the National Rural Health Mission.
In most areas, India will hopefully come close to the MDGs
(Millennium Development Goals)," Menabde said at a press conference here.The MDGs are eight international development goals that all member
states of the UN agreed to achieve by 2015. One of the MDGs is to reduce
under-five mortality rate of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. Source:The Times of India
Rescued child labourers sent to Burari shelter
NEW DELHI, September 7, 2012: Thirty-six child
labourers, who were recently rescued from various bangle factories in Jahangirpuri, have been sent to a shelter in
Burari in the capital. The children, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are expected to be
repatriated within the month. "Before that happens, they are to go
through a procedure with the Child Welfare Commission where their parents will be identified. They will undergo a medical test and also
counseling where needed," says Rakesh Senger of Bachpan Bachao
Andolan, the NGO that filed the complaint in this regard. The police is also
expected to take the children's statement for an FIR against their employers.
"Besides strong enforcement of laws to combat child labour, there is
need to create child-friendly atmosphere in the areas where these children come from. They need to be included in the decision-making
process at the village panchayat level. We are talking to state-level
officials to pitch for such a change,"says Senger. The rescued children, between seven and 11 years of age, received Rs 200
per month as wages and worked more than 12 hours a day in unventilated
rooms. Injury marks have been found on the children's bodies. Four
employers have already been arrested in the case. Source: Times of India
Government nod for ban on employing children upto 14 years
New Delhi, August 28, 2012 (PTI): A proposal to put a complete ban on employment of children up to the age
of 14 both in hazardous and non-hazardous work by amending an anti-child
labour Act was cleared by the government on Tuesday. The Union Cabinet, which met here, approved bringing amendment to the
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which has also penal provisions for non compliance.
As per the existing Act, children below 14 years of age are allowed to
work in industries not considered to be hazardous. Children between 14-18 years will also be defined as “adolescents” in
the amended Act, said Labour and Employment Ministry officials.
Officials said, the amendment will also fulfill the mandate of Right to
Education to free and compulsory education for children in the age group
of 6-15 years. The amendment will also bring labour laws in the country in line with ILO norms.
SC notice to
Centre, States on 55,000 missing children
New Delhi, August
18, 2012: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and all the state governments on a PIL seeking its direction to them for tracing
55,000 missing children in the country. Agreeing to hear the public interest litigation (PIL), a bench headed by
Justice Aftab Alam sought response from the Centre and States on the
issue of the missing children. The order of the Court came on a petition filed by an advocate, Sarwa Mitra.
"The State police machinery has failed to trace the missing children
resulting in total extinction of life of these children. Further there
is mutilation or amputation of arms, legs or pulling out of eyes or destruction of any other organ of the body of these children which lead
them to spend miserable lives and compel them to engage in begging, flesh trade etc," Mitra said in his petition. The petitioner also submitted that, "The State police has failed to
investigate the cases of kidnapping and had failed to trace the missing
children, which is a total denial of right to life and liberty of these nnocent children."Almost all the states have failed to solve the kidnapping of 55,000
children by organised gangs," Mitra said in his petition, adding that
"These unfortunate children are also forced into bootlegging, smuggling,
prostitution etc." The petition also said, "There is selling and buying of children for
illegal acts, sexual exploitation and child trafficking." - NDTV
Panwala sets up school for slum kids
WARDHA, August 4, 2012: In the present scenario when education sector is fast becoming a source of making money, a
panwala still upholds what the sages of yester years considered education to be - a path to godliness.
Diwakar Waghmare (35), a panwala, has set up Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj
Dnyanmandir, a school where he along with his few friends teach students from
poor families who live in the slums near Hinganghat. Waghmare had been
doing this noble work since last two years. Around 50 students attend
his school which is a small cottage. Waghmare and his friends teach students from first to fourth standard.
"During my childhood I could not get a proper education due to the poor
financial condition of my parents. But I value education. For past several years I felt that the poor students from the slums lacked proper
facility for studying. Poor financial condition and lack of awareness
among parents were the main hurdles that prevented the children from
getting education. I go door-to-door asking the parents to send their
child to my classes. I have seen marked improvement in these students," said Waghmare.
Atul Kapse, one of his friend, said, "When we came to know about
Diwakar's new initiative we also decided to join in his endeavour."
Waghmare does not earn more than Rs300 or Rs400 a day. But he manages
both his household and school's expenses with this amount. He also provides the students attending this school with food too. A parent
said, "Children are happy to go to Waghmare's school. He not only teaches the syllabus but also gives emphasis on playing games and also
formal value education. He is able to do it because loves to teach." RPI leader, Anmol Thepe, said, "This school shames the public schools in
the city which provide very expensive education. We should help Waghmare
and his team." Talking to TOI, he said, "I want every child to get education. For that the society must extend a helping hand." Source: Times of India
Seven out of 10 Indian kids suffer from gum disease: Study
MUMBAI, July 31, 2012: A new nationwide survey conducted by the India
Dental Association (IDA) shows that 70% of children under the age of 15 suffer
from gum problems. The IDA surveyed four lakh children across the country and found out that 40% are suffering from a faulty jaw line.
The survey also pointed out that the problems of dental decay are rising
amongst the children. Moreover a recent study showed that 92% students
were found to be suffering from dental decay. Majority kids have dental problems with irregular teeth that need to be straightened and aligned,
bad breath, or teeth that need cleaning - polishing and fillings. According to Dr Veejay
Deshpandey, consultant dental surgeon and implantologist, almost 70 per cent of their dental problems are due to
consumption of junk food, soft drinks and lack of good brushing habits.
"The usage of package food and junk food habits in children are
increasing due to the fast life. Children, who are addicted to junk foods like candies, chips,
cookies, french fries, chinese dishes, burgers, pizzas, ice creams, sodas, desserts as well as packaged drinks,
cannot resist having them, and are more prone to problems such as toothache, problem in the gums, decays in milk teeth and newly erupted
permanent teeth. The food particles tend to get stuck between the teeth which increase the bacteria in mouth and lead to tooth problems. This
results in early tooth decay and possible loss of teeth. Hence these habits of eating are hazardous for children's teeth."
Kids express gratitude for gutkha ban
MUMBAI, July 13, 2012: Children of Salaam Bombay Foundation
thanked the state ministers for ensuring a healthy future for them by
banning the sale of gutkha and pan masala in the state. Maharashtra on Wednesday had banned the sale of gutka and paan masala
after the state cabinet approved a proposal for banning the manufacture, torage, distribution and sale of these two products. Offenders can face
jail time of six months to three years.
Apart from being the fourth state in India to ban gutkha, Maharashtra
also became the only state in India to ban sale of pan masala. A previous study conducted by the Salaam Bombay Foundation on surrogate
advertising of gutkha as pan masala found that 68% children and 73% adults recognized
advertisements of pan masala as gutkha. Project coordinator of Salaam Bombay Foundation Rajashree Kadam said,
"The study had underlined the importance of such a ban".Kadam added, "We
are very happy that the government has taken serious steps towards controlling the consumption of tobacco. The next step is to ensure
effective implementation of the ban and prevent the black market sale of
these products."The state ministers said the decision was being taken in
the interest of public health after a significant rise in the incidence
of oral and other forms of cancer was witnessed. Source: Times of India
More than 5 in every 10 Indian children bullied online: Survey
NEW DELHI: Over half of the Indian children who surf Internet face cyber
bullying -- getting threatened or being harassed online -- a Microsoft study has found.
According to Microsoft's 'Global Youth Online Behavior Survey' of 25
countries, India ranked third with 53 per cent of respondents (children
aged between 8-17) saying they have been bullied online, behind China
(70 per cent) and Singapore (58 per cent). Cyber bullying can be defined as use of technology to harass, threaten,
embarrass or target another person.
The survey was conducted among more than 7,600 children aged 8 to 17
years across 25 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Japan,
Pakistan, Russia, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the US. The survey focused on how kids are treating one another online and
whether parents are addressing online behaviours. In India, the survey found that more than five in 10 children surveyed
said they have experienced what adults might consider online bullying,
while a similar number said they had done something their parents may
consider online bullying. About 45 per cent of parents (respondents) said they teach their
children online manners.
The survey showed that about 38 per cent of the schools have formal policies on cyber bullying.
"Protecting children from online bullying is a shared responsibility.
Everyone plays a role: parents, educators, school counsellors, coaches,
online safety advocates, industry, law enforcement, government and children themselves," Microsoft Director (Trustworthy Computing)
Jacqueline Beauchere said. Globally, the survey indicated that while children want to talk to
parents about the issue, only 29 per cent of the children said their
parents have talked to them about protecting themselves online. The survey said it was
important for adults (parents and school) to discuss the issue with the children and provide guidance on how to
identify and respond to a range of online behaviors from online meanness
to bullying and beyond. - The Economic Times
Syrian army uses children as 'human shields': UN
UNITED NATIONS, June 12, 2012: Syrian troops have tortured children,
executed them and used children as young as eight as "human shields" during military raids against rebels, according to a UN report released
Tuesday. The United Nations branded the Syrian government as one of the worst
offenders on its annual "list of shame" of conflict countries where children are killed, tortured and forced to fight.
Human rights groups estimate that about 1,200 children have died during the 15-month uprising against President Bashar
al-Assad, whose brutal crackdown on Arab Spring-inspired protests has been widely condemned.
"Rarely, have I seen such brutality against children as in Syria, where
girls and boys are detained, tortured, executed, and used as human shields," Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN special representative for children
in armed conflict, told AFP ahead of the report's release. Government forces
rounded up dozens of boys aged 8- 13 before an attack on the village of Ayn l'Arouz in Idlib province on March 9, the
report said. The children were "used by soldiers and militia members as human
shields, placing them in front of the windows of buses carrying military personnel into the raid on the village," it said.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the report had uncovered one of many "grave
violations" against children. Source: Times of India
Should Facebook lift age limit for kids?
June 8, 2012: According to Washington Post Facebook is developing technology that would allow children under 13 to use Facebook if their parents
supervise. In accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Facebook does not allow those under 13 to have a Facebook account, but
the rule is generally violated by children who post false dates of birth, at times with the consent of parents.
"I created a Facebook account for my nine-year-old son. All that he does now is play Farmville and post some of the games developed by him on the
wall. I know who are his friends in the list. As long as parents can monitor the accounts and children can understand their limits, there is
no harm in they having an account," says Swathi, a housewife. In a statement, Facebook has said that: “Many recent reports have
highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restriction on the
Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services."
In fact, Facebook founder Zuckerberg considers Facebook as an education tool. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really,
really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn
what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they (younger kids) are safe,” he once told CNN.
Online security is a major concern for many parents with children being exposed to irrelevant content. According to an estimate, 7.5 million
Facebook users are below 13 and of them, 5 million are younger than 10.Even with age
regulations, many children violate the norm by faking their age, at times with the consent of parents. Given the vastness of
the internet, monitoring one's online activities isnt' an easy task. Moreover, Facebook is not immune to security threats
as Zuckerberg's account itself was hacked recently. Source: CIOL
Parliament passes bill to protect children from sexual abuse
New Delhi, May 23, 2012 (PTI): Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill to protect children
below 18 from sexual abuse, set up special courts for speedy trial of cases against them and provide stringent punishment extending up to life
term for offenders. "The bill is gender neutral. It seeks to protect children from sexual
offences... the burden of proof will be on the accused," Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said winding up the debate in the
Lok Sabha on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011.
The bill, which was earlier cleared by Rajya Sabha, was approved by the
Lower House by voice vote today. Ms Tirath said all below 18 years would be treated as children and
efforts have been made to keep provisions of the bill child-friendly. It
contains provisions for in-camera trial of offences, she said. Dismissing concerns over misuse of the law, Ms Tirath said, provisions
have also been made to deal with offences of false complaints. The bill found support from all sections of the House, although some
members raised the issue of possible misuse of the stringent law. Lalu Prasad
(RJD) questioned why the government did not move the Supreme Court against the decision of the Delhi High Court decriminalising
unnatural sex. "We are not animals, we are humans. Why have you not gone to the Supreme
Court?" he asked, adding "dirty pictures" were being made and it has
become impossible to watch movies with family members. Piloting the bill, Ms Tirath said the legislation has been necessitated
because incidents of child abuse had increased immensely particularly in the NCR region.
She said according to a study conducted by her ministry in 13 states, 53
per cent of children accepted that they have been sexually exploited. The minister said the bill has provision for the state governments to
set up Special Court to try the offences under the Act. It has provision for stringent punishments for perpetrators of crime against children.
As per the Bill, "whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on children shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable."
It said "whoever uses a child for pornographic purposes shall be liable
for rigorous imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine and in the event of second or subsequent conviction
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to
seven years and also with fine". Among those who participated in the discussion were Ratna De (TMC), B
Mehtab (BJD), Gorakhnath Pandey (BSP), Chandresh Kumari Katoch (Cong), Virendra Kumar (BJP), Sushmita Bauri (CPI-M) and Maheshwar Hazari (JD-U).
Aamir Khan throws spotlight on child sex abuse
New Delhi, May 13, 2012: In the second episode of Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate Aamir Khan throws spotlight on child sex abuse. In the television show Amir Khan spoke to several such victims, their family members, experts and
social workers who came on the show on Sunday to narrate their horrific experiences of being molested, sodomized and cowed with the threat . Amir narrated the heartbreaking story of Anamika, who was sexually abused by her teacher, underscored the
importance of parents listening to and trusting their children. Aamir quoted from a survey conducted in 2007 by the Women and Child
Development Ministry and the NGO Prayas in association with Unicef and
Save the Children across 13 states and with a sample size of 12,447. The shocking details were laid bare to the entire nation.
The survey found that 53.22 per cent of children reported having faced
one or more forms of sexual abuse. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Delhi had reported the highest percentage of such incidents at that
time. In 50% of the cases, the abusers were known to the child or were
in a position of trust and responsibility and most children did not report the matter to anyone. The National Study on Child Abuse is one of the largest empirical
in-country studies of its kind in the world. This study also complements
the UN Secretary Global Study on Violence against Children 2006. In the show he presented the case of Cinderella Prakash and Harish Iyer
Cinderella Prakash was abused by a 55-year-old man she trusted when she
was 12 years old. Harish Iyer spent 11 years in trauma, being abused by a man he trusted as a child.
He was sodomized and when he went to his mother after much deliberation, he was not taken seriously. It is not often highlighted but 53% of children who went through child
sexual abuse were boys, according to the 2007 report, the aim of which
was to develop a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child
abuse, with a view to facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies
and programmes meant to effectively curb and control the problem of child abuse in India.
Give priority to children’s health: Jasmine Whitbread
April 9, 2012: India has the highest number of deaths of children
under five and a third of the world's stunted kids. Jasmine Whitbread,
CEO of Save The Children International said. The survey was conducted in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and
Peru - five countries where more than half of the world's malnourished.
children live. It found that after a year of soaring food prices, families across the globe were forced to cut back on food, impacting the
health of children. In India, 24% of respondents said that their children (under 16) went without food,
sometimes or often, compared to 11% in Bangladesh, 12% in Pakistan, 14% in Peru and 27% in Nigeria.
1500 Assam kids missing in a year
Guwahati, March 30: Over 1,500 children have disappeared from Assam
between 2011 and 2012, and most are now living in subhuman conditions somewhere in north India, as prostitutes, domestic helps or underage
wives in women-starved states. According to the latest data of the State Crime Records Bureau,
altogether 1,071 female and 494 male children have gone missing in Assam in 2011-2012, the highest in the Northeast.
The crime records also revealed that during this period, 965 missing
children, including 283 male and 682 female, have been traced. This means that as on March 15, 2012, 211 male children and 389 female
children have remained untraced in the state. According to Unicef, a child victim of trafficking is
"any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transfe rred, harboured or received for
the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country". Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, a Delhi-based NGO working on
anti-trafficking projects, said in Assam, the human trafficking situation in general and child trafficking in
particular is highly alarming .
"Mostly children and women are being trafficked from Assam for
prstitution, forced marriages as well as to be employed as domestic helps in north India, including states like Delhi and
Haryana," he said. According to him, the role of illegally-run placement agencies is a big
concern. Recently, 22 girls were rescued jointly by Shakti Vahini and Assam
police from the premises of one such placement agency in Delhi.
"The placement agencies are involved in trafficking of children and
exploit them physically and mentally," he said. The victims are being trafficked with the lure of job or money.
A police source here said the rising demand for live-in maids in urban
areas has resulted in trafficking of girls from villages in Assam, Bengal, Jharkhand and
Chhattisgarh. The trafficked children are forced to live under extremely poor
conditions first in placement agencies and later in the employers homes.
Placement agents keep the girls in small unhygienic rooms, packed together. They are often made to do the placement
agent's household work and also subjected to sexual abuse. "Trafficking of young girls from rural areas in Assam to Haryana for
forced marriage is the ramification of the skewed sex ratio in Haryana," Kant said.
Over 99% children hit, slapped in schools: Survey
New Delhi, March 2, 2012: Children across the country are being caned,
slapped, hit and if they're lucky, let off with their ears boxed by teachers and
school authorities, a study by the National Commission for Protection of Child
Rights has found. The commission conducted a study on the practice of corporal punishment speaking to 6,632 children and respondents across seven states.
The study, to be made public next week, paints a bleak picture of India's
schools. Of the people interviewed, only nine children denied having received any
kind of punishment indicating that in 99.86% of the cases, children were subjected to either mental or physical punishment.
The study -- conducted in 2009-2010 - says that as many as 81.2% of the
children were subject to outward rejection by being told that they were
incapable of learning. Out of the total, 75% reported that they had been
hit with a cane and 69% had been slapped on their cheeks. Shockingly,
the study found that the practice of giving electric shocks was also
being followed in some schools.
Among the most frequent punishments given to children was getting caned,
being slapped on the cheeks, being hit on the back and ears getting boxed. Sources said the child rights commission was deeply concerned
over the findings and had formulated guidelines for the elimination of
corporal punishment in schools. The commission, since 2009, has been writing to schools and state
authorities advocating a violence-free environment in schools and homes.
It has also sent guidelines strongly condemning any kind of physical
punishment. Sources said the guidelines were likely to be expanded further to include mental harassment like putting down the child in any
way, shaming and name-calling them as well. The new guidelines will be
made public next week. Source: The Times of India
About 30 children die every 3 minutes from impoverishment
MADRID, February 6, 2012: About 30 children die every 3 minutes from
impoverishment. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a
total of 6 million children, who are less than 5 years old, suffer from
malnutrition worldwide. More than 180 million children, less than 10 years old, suffer of hunger
due to the lack of food. About 177 million children experience delayed development and about 8 million of newborns die each year due to the
mother’s poor health conditions during pregnancy. Other causes are the mother’s nutrient-deficient nourishment, the lack of safety standards
during childbirth, and negligence when caring for the baby. These conditions are present in countries where about 15 million teenage
girls, between the ages of 15 and 19, give birth at an annual rate.
These statistics indicate that the world is far from reaching the goals
established at FAO’s World Food Summit of 1996: halve the total of homeless children by 2015. Where nourishment is difficult, a child has
an average life expectancy of 38, while in 24 of the world’s wealthiest
countries the average increases to 70. It is estimated that 1 out of 7 children born in the world’s
poorest countries is sentenced to die before reaching the age of 5. A year
estimates about 250,000 children. Most of these children die due to the
lack of food and essential nutrients, which weakens them and reduces their weight thus making them more vulnerable. Moreover, these children
are exposed to a high risk of catching infectious diseases. In developing countries, diarrhea, acute respiratory diseases, malaria
etc are among the main causes of child death.
About 10 lakh children with type I diabetes in India
New Delhi, January 28, 2012: The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are more than 346 million people worldwide
suffering from diabetes. According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India tops the list with more than 50 million people
with diabetes. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) states that there are
about 10 lakh children with type I diabetes in India. Type II diabetes among children is also on the rise because of an increase in obesity
among children. It is high time we understand the burden of this disease
and spread awareness among everyone to combat this menace..
Prior to the discovery of insulin, children with diabetes did not live
for longer than six months from the onset of symptoms. Thanks to Banting, and his team at the University of Toronto, this amazing
discovery has changed the lives of millions of diabetic patients. Diabetic patients these days can lead a reasonably normal life provided
they follow their diet plan and insulin regimen.
Diabetes is a condition that causes high sugar in our blood. This
happens due to a lack of or resistance to insulin, a hormone required
for the transport of glucose to different parts of our body. There are
different types of diabetes. Children almost always develop Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes). However, more recently, because of the
obesity epidemic worldwide.
42% of Indian children underweight, PM calls it a 'national shame'
NEW DELHI, January 10, 2012 (PTI) : Highlighting that 42 per cent children
were underweight in a country witnessing high growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today described it as a national shame
and said the government could not rely solely on ICDS, a programme for early childhood development, to address it.
"...the problem of malnutrition is a matter of national shame. Despite
impressive growth in our GDP, the level of under-nutrition in the country is unacceptably
high," he said releasing a report on Hunger and Malnutrition (HUNGaMA) here.
Pointing out that India had not succeeded in reducing the levels of malnutrition fast enough, he said, "Though the ICDS continues to be our
most important tool to fight malnutrition, we can no longer rely solely on it."
The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is a major
national programme that addresses the health and nutrition needs of children under the age of six.
The HUNGaMA report states that the prevalence of child underweight has
decreased from 53 per cent to 42 per cent, marking a 20.3 per cent fall
over a seven year period with an average annual rate of reduction of 2.9 per cent.
The survey found that the rates of child malnutrition were still
unacceptably high in the 100 focus districts with the poorest child development indicators where over 40 per cent of children were
underweight and almost 60 per cent stunted. "We need to focus on districts where malnutrition levels are high and
where conditions causing malnutrition prevail," Singh said. He said policy makers and programme implementers need to clearly
understand many linkages - between education and health, sanitation and
hygiene, drinking water and nutrition - and then shape their responses accordingly.
Be unique and think big: APJ Kalam tells students
Bhubaneswar, January 07, 2012: Former president APJ Abdul Kalam on
Wednesday appealed school children to be unique, think big and work dedicatedly in the field of science and
technology. “The young and ignited minds should dream big and not be dictated by failures,” Kalam said while inaugurating the Children Science
Congress at the 99th Indian Science Congress at KIIT University campus here.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 99th Indian Science
Congress on Tuesday. More than 15,000 delegates including Nobel laureates, scientists from abroad and students are participating in the
five-day event, which will conclude on January 7.
Kalam’s address to 15,000-odd school children was more of an interaction
than speech. He talked extempore, gave gems of advice to the children
and fielded questions from them with aplomb. Telling them that each of them should think he was unique, he made them
recite: “I’m born with potential. I’m born with greatness. I’m born with
wings. So I’m not meant for crawling. I’ll fly, I’ll fly, I’ll fly.”
He said the young students should work on their dreams and take calculated risks in life. The coming generation would have great aim in
life, acquire knowledge continuously, work hard and be the captain of all problems, he said. “Make great books, great human beings and great
teachers as your friends,” he advised the children.
Replying to a question how he managed to balance science and politics
when he was president, the missile man said: “Science needs lots of
money and money comes from politicians.” To another question on space science and missile technology, he said:
“Earth, Moon and Mars will become economic entity in the next three
decades and we will be seeking lots of things from there.” Kalam said imagination was the beginning of creation and young students
should imagine what they desired. Knowledge of science could give one
better eyes and solve sea of problems, he said. Source: Hindustan Times