APJ Abdul Kalam's dream to see India as a developed nation
MYSORE, December 5, 2011: Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's dream to see India as a
developed nation by 2020 seems to be heading in the right direction.
During their free time, a group of engineering students, go to government schools and try to inspire young minds.
While many youths today are busy gaming, watching movies, hanging out,
or lazing around, it's indeed nice to see some taking such steps to change the world around them and make a difference. These students reach
out to children from government school, inspire them towards pursuing
higher education, leadership, better way of life, motivating them to lead better living standards and
sowing seeds of entrepreneurship. These youths from Vidya Vardhaka College of Engineering,
National Institute of Engineering and PESIT Mandya took the initiative to join hands with Inspiration Unlimited Youth 2 Children to
make a change. These activities are to observe Global Entrepreneurship
Week and the annual conference Global Entrepreneurship Congress, happens every year in Liverpool.
Finnair and UNICEF help children in India
December 1, 2011: Finnair is once more launching its Change for Good
campaign on international flights in cooperation with UNICEF Finland. The
campaign's aim is to raise funds for UNICEF's 'Clean Water and Environment for
Children of India' programme, for the third and final year.
The programme places special emphasis on the importance of maintaining
sanitation, hygiene and clean water. The target area in the north-east
Indian state of Bihar is one of the country?s poorest and most densely populated areas.
With the project's help, 224 schools have already received new water
outlets and toilets. Teachers have been trained to teach children to
learn about the importance of washing their hands. When the project started, only 3 per cent of
children washed their hands before eating; that figure has now risen to 91 per cent. Finnair and UNICEF are now
working together with Change for Good for the
sixteenth time. Change for Good is being carried out on almost all international Finnair flights over the six-week period from November 28.
The idea is that coins and notes of any currency and denomination can be
placed for collection in the envelopes provided in aircraft seat pockets, then handed to cabin crew for collection.
A new element of the campaign is the option of donating Finnair Plus
Points toward UNICEF Finland, available as of December 1.Change for Good has been the official charity for many members of the
one world global alliance since 1999.
Indiaís biggest ever childrenís film festival gets underway
Hyderabad, November 17, 2011: Children`s cinema got a big boost Monday
with the nation`s largest ever and one of the world`s biggest children`s film festival, `The Golden
Elephant` 17th International Children`s Film Festival organised by Children`s Film Society, India
(CFSI) getting underway in Hyderabad. `In a global village, one has to compete with the world. This cannot be
done until one is exposed to the world. This exposure should begin
early. We are hence committed to Children`s cinema,` said Andhra Pradesh
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. At least 154 films from 38 different countries being
screened across 13 theatres and over 150,000 children not just from the nooks and corners
of the country but many from other countries who will watch these films:
children`s film festival cannot get bigger than this.
Over 5,000 kids raped; 1,408 murdered in 2010: report
New Delhi, October 30, 2011 (PTI): As many as 5,484 children were sexually assaulted and 1,408
others killed in different parts of the country in 2010, according to a
government report. Giving a gloomy picture about the crimes committed against children, the
latest National Crime Records Bureau data says 10,670 children were also
kidnapped or abducted during the year in various states and Union Territories.
In Uttar Pradesh, 315 children were killed while 1,182 children were
sexually assaulted in Madhya Pradesh during the period - the highest in the two categories of crimes.
In Delhi, 29 children were murdered and 304 others were raped in 2010.
There were 211 incidents of murder of children in Maharashtra, another
200 such cases in Bihar and 124 victims in Madhya Pradesh, it said.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh recorded 747, 451 and 446
cases of sexual assault respectively in 2010. Similarly, 382 and 369
such incidents came to light in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In Delhi, 29 children were murdered and 304 others were raped in 2010.
The national capital has reported the highest number of kidnapping of
children in the country - 2,982, followed by Bihar (1,359), Uttar Pradesh (1,225), Maharashtra (749), Rajasthan (706), Andhra Pradesh
(581) and Gujarat (565).
Child trafficker held, eight kids rescued in UP
Lucknow, October 24, 2011 (IANS): A man from Bihar was arrested and eight children, being taken to Rajasthan to work as
labourers, were rescued from a train in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district, police said Monday.
The children, who hail from Gaya, were rescued following a raid on a
coach of the Jodhpur-Howrah Express late Sunday in Mirzapur, some 300 km
from here. The raid was conducted following a tip-off by an NGO. "Sultan was taking the children to Jaipur to work in bangle factories on
the pretext of providing them education and employment," said government
railway police inspector Gulab Singh. "Three accomplices of Sultan managed to escape. For the last four-five
years, Sultan had been working for a human-trafficking racket," he added.
According to police, all the eight children are aged between 9-12 years.
One-fifth of India's children face abuse: Study
NEW DELHI, October 15, 2011: The future of children in India appears bleak, riddled by
verbal and physical abuse and controlled by gender stereotypes. A study
by child rights organization Plan India has found that one-fifth of the children reported facing abuse, only 20%
women had bank accounts and only 16% owned an asset like land or vehicle.
Of the children that reported abuse, 67% were victims of physical abuse,
44% verbal and emotional abuse. The issues of child protection are severe at home and in educational institutions and ironically, just as
home and school top the places where abuse happens, these are also the
two places that children feel most secure. The survey interviewed 6,000 espondents from all ages and gender.
Young women hold less bank accounts, property or vehicles as compared to
young men. One-fifth of the young women (20%) reported having a bank
account as compared to 37% of young men. Among women holding a bank account, only 55% reported that they could withdraw money without
permission as compared to 78% young men. Among men and women contacted, 18% reported ownership of any asset (21%
young men and 16% young women). "Over 70% children in the age group of
10-14 years reported their father as the main decision-maker in the family," the study said. The study was carried out across Delhi, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Karnataka. The study said 80% girls in the age group 10-14 years were groomed at an
early age for household chores such as cleaning and washing clothes.
"The mindset to leave the onus of certain things on girls is deep rooted," Plan India executive director Bhagyashri
Dengle. Source: Times of India
Sexually abused minors rescued in Mumbai
Mumbai, September 3, 2011 (DNA): Eight minor girls, who had run away from an ashram in
Nerul, were spotted by the police and rescued on Thursday. Aged between five and 10 years, they alleged that they were physically,
mentally and sexually abused at Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission in Nerul.The caretakers of the ashram, Satish Pagi (45) and his wife Anita (40),
were arrested. Out of the 12 girls staying in the ashram, eight ran away.
A police team from the Nerul police station, which was patrolling around
3.30am on Thursday, saw the girls on the road without any guardian.The police said that out of the eight girls, three were the main targets
of the accused and he used to force them to indulge in oral sex. "The mummy in the ashram used to beat us a lot. We had to serve them
food, wash utensils and do all household work and get beaten as well,"
said a girl. The remaining four girls in the ashram were rescued.
Every year 400 kids go missing from Rajasthan
Jaipur, August 8, 2011: Every year nearly 400 children go missing from
state. What is now concerning the state police is the spurt in the number of such cases over the past few years.
In 2009, the number of missing children in the state was 334. This
increased sharply to 475 in 2010 and the number of cases in the first
seven months of this year (Jan to July) is already 449. Police suspect that the missing children are exploited as labour in
other states. They didn't rule out gangs in flesh trade behind some of these instances.
Police records show 66 children never returned home in past seven
months in Jaipur city alone, the highest in state, followed by Chittorgarh,
where 50 children went missing. In Pali, police have been unable to trace 43 children, till July this year. Source: DNA
More than 40% children are suffering from anaemia in India
NEW DELHI, August 4, 2011: More than 40% children in pre-school
age of 0-five years are suffering from anaemia in India. Anaemia affects 1.62
billion or a quarter of the global population, including 293 million (47%) children younger than five years and 468 million (30%) non-pregnant women.
The prevalence of anaemia is estimated at 9% in countries with high development, in countries with low development the prevalence is as
high as 43%.
Anaemia is estimated to contribute to more than 1.15 lakh maternal
deaths, and 5.91 lakh prenatal deaths globally per year. Asia and Africa
account for more than 85% of the absolute anemia burden in high-risk groups. These are the
findings of a paper published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, on Tuesday.
Anaemia among children (6-59 months) was highest in Bihar (78%), Madhya Pradesh (74.1%), Uttar Pradesh (73.9%), Haryana (72.3%), Chhattisgarh
(71.2%) and Jharkhand (70.3%). According to some experts, prevalence of anaemia in India is high because of low-dietary intake, poor availability of iron and chronic blood loss due
to hookworm infestation.
Toll in Bihar mystery fever climbs to 33
Muzaffarpur, June 22, 2011 (PTI): Three more children have died due to a mysterious fever
in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, taking the toll to 33. A Central team, meanwhile, took blood samples of the patients to
ascertain the cause of the deaths. Two children died at Kejriwal Hospital here, while another died at
Srikrishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) between yesterday and today,
official sources said.
Fifteen children were still undergoing treatment at the two hospitals,
they said. A seven-member Central team from National Institute of Virology, Pune
and ICMI, New Delhi, comprising experts including Union Health Ministry Joint Director S K Jain, B R Thappa and I P Choudhary visited the SKMCH
this morning and took the blood samples of children affected by the disease.Jain said that the blood samples would be sent to specialised virology
labs in Pune and New Delhi and the examination report would be made available within a fortnight.He said the team had advised the
SKMCH authorities to shift the children afflicted with the disease to
air-conditioned ward of the hospital.
70,000 children infected by HIV in India
Kolkata, June 12, 2011 (PTI): An estimated 70,000 children are infected with HIV in the
country and the ailment is caused to most of them by parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), according to a recent finding by
the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Participants of a UNICEF-state AIDS Prevention and Control Society
seminar in Kolkata said, quoting NACO estimates, that a small proportion
of these children are infected by unsafe injections and blood transfusions.
"UNICEF supports the government in its effort to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS outbreak in India to reduce the transmission of HIV from
infected mothers to their children," the country chief of UNICEF, HIV
and AIDS, Ivonne Camaroni told on the sidelines of the seminar. With 21,000 children infected every year through
PTCT, the UNICEF wanted to provide strategic supplies of drugs and commodities, improve the
capacity of staff by developing innovative communication approaches for
prevention and care and helping to improve monitoring and reporting systems.
The possible factors behind infection of children were mother-to- child transmission, blood transfusion and HIV positive mothers not having
availed prevention facility during pregnancy, Camaroni said.
2,500 kids die every day due to malnutrition in India
New Delhi, May 11, 2011: Every day 2,500 children in India die due to malnutrition, primarily
caused by poverty, the Supreme Court was told on Tuesday, resulting in the court expressing its anguish. Such a figure has been brought to the
notice of Supreme Court for the first time. "Around 8.8 lakh children
die every year due to malnutrition of the total child deaths of 17.8 lakh every year," the
Colin Gonsalves, counsel for the petitioner People's Union for Civil
Liberties said. "There are said to be 3,000 malnourishment deaths in the country. It may
not be 3000 but even if it is three deaths in a country like ours, it is
a matter of grave concern," a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma said.
In India, 2.4 crore children are born each year of which 17.8 lakh die because of different reasons before they cross the age of five, of these
46% die due to malnutrition. The annual death of malnutrition related death in India is more than the
total live births in the UK and one-third of newborns in the US. Although malnutrition is linked to poverty and poor public distribution
system of subsidised foodgrains, the government informed the court that that 50 lakh tonnes of additional foodgrains will be distributed to poor
in the next two weeks. The court said the food grains should be provided on subsidized rates.
Over 1 Lakh children have risky jobs here
NEW DELHI May 1, 2011: At present, there are three million human trafficking
victims in India of which 1.2 million are children , this is what figures released by the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) state. With 60,000 children going missing
each year, of which a dismal 30% are rescued or traced, Delhi alone has over 1 lakh children who are employed in various hazardous occupations. However,
despite clear high court directions, activists fighting child labour in
Delhi allege that proper action has not been taken to fight child labour by the administration.
"Judicial activism with regard to child labour is stringent in Delhi.
The laws are quite clear and there are multiple court judgments which give the direction to Delhi Police as well as concerned departments to
book perpetrators of this menace. Despite this, proper implementation of these laws is not done and administration takes it lightly," claimed
Bhuvan Ribhu, lawyer for the NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). In an affidavit filed by the NCPCR in January in response to a petition
filed by BBA in the high court, it was found that 1,510 children have
been rescued since July 2010 through legal procedure. Source: Times of India
Nearly 25% minor girls victims of abuse
NEW DELHI, April 24, 2011: By a survey of Government at least one out of
five boys and one out of four girls are abused before they reach the age of 18. The court in its judgment extensively spoke on the increasing
menace of "intrafamilial child sexual abuse" where the family members
and relatives often become the perpetrators of the crime. Relying on the findings of a survey by Government of India.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said that 53 percent of children in the country were
sexually abused. "Cases pertaining to child abuse have increased in recent years, most of
the offenders being previously known to the victim or enjoying some kind
of a fiduciary, family or trust relationship which they betray."
Though the court awarded the maximum punishment of two years prescribed under
Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) IPC to the convict, the case is a classic example of inadequate legal provisions to deal with
the issue. Legal experts say that expanding the scope of Section 354 and including
child sexual abuse in it can tackle with the problem. Code to punish offenders should strictly be
IPC, but with some changes.`.
Selective Abortions Blamed For Girl Shortage In India
New Delhi, April 15, 2011: India's latest census revealed a disturbing trend: There are far fewer
girls born each year than boys. Activists say the disparity is deliberate.
Much of Indian culture regards boys as assets to families and girls as liabilities. Some families are using ultrasound technology to determine
the gender of fetuses and then aborting the females. The process has been going on for decades, leading to a shortage of
marriageable girls that is beginning to make itself felt all over India. Dr. C. Chandramouli, India's census commissioner, says the numbers don't
lie: The girls are missing.Among children under 6 years old in India today, there are only 940
girls for every 1,000 boys. Worldwide, it's around 986 to every 1,000.
Chandramouli says this is a continuation of a trend that was first seen
clearly in the 2000 census, but the new figures show the problem is spreading.
Only about 30 percent of the students at Sarvodya School are girls. The school is in the Jhajjar district of Haryana state, which has the lowest
ratio of girls to boys under the age of 6 (774 to 1,000) in India. "It
has to be said that what was a North Indian phenomena of a few states has now spread across the country,
and we see a uniform decline all over the country, so that is what is more distressing," he
Indian infants make 25 percent of global diarrhea deaths
New Delhi, March 9, 2011(IANS): Indian infants, below the age of five, make
for one-fourth of the total global deaths due to diarrhea-related causes, experts here said Wednesday.
'Of the 610,000 infants below the age of five years who die because of
severe gastroenteritis or diarrhea, nearly 152,000 are Indians. The disease burden of rotavirus associated diarrhea is attributing to high
child mortality rate in the country,' said Rohit Agarwal, president-elect of the Indian Association of Pediatricians at the launch
of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine in the country. RotaTeq vaccine, priced at Rs.900, is aimed to help children fight
rotavirus gastroenteritis, also the cause of severe and fatal diarrhea among infants below five years.
' India suffers from high disease burden of the rotavirus associated diarrhea which also leads to high child mortality rate in the country.
We are also in talks with the ministry of health and family welfare to introduce the vaccine in public health centres,' said K.G.
Ananthakrishnan, managing director of MSD pharmaceuticals. The vaccine has been
approved in 98 countries of the world as per the prequalification status granted by the World Health
Organisation. Globally, rotavirus causes approximately 114 million cases of diarroea, while every one in 200 children below the age of five dies due to the
virus in the country.
Cabinet clears bill against child sex abuse
New Delhi, March 4, 2011: In an attempt to protect children against sexual abuse, the
cabinet on Thursday cleared a first-of-its-kind legislation which threatens stringent action against the offenders.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill is aimed at protecting the young ones from sexual abuse, sexual
harassment and child pornography.
The necessity for such a law was underlined in government data which
shows that more than half of India's children have been subjected to such abuses.For the first time, the draft Bill distinguishes a sexual offence
committed against children by persons in position of trust and authority
over children, including a police officer, a remand home warden, hospital staff and school authorities. It categorises these crimes as
being of "aggravated" nature with stringent punishment.
The punishment for "aggravated sexual assault" is imprisonment of up to
seven years with a fine, while penalty for "penetrative sexual assault"
is at least five years in jail and a minimum penalty of Rs 50,000. Crime against children has been classified into that of " penetrative"
sexual assault, which could be of aggravated nature also, and that of
non-penetrative kind, which could again be of aggravated nature. Specifying the reason for this, a women and child development ministry
official said: " We have kept in mind recent cases where children home
wardens, hospital staff and school teachers, entrusted with the responsibility of the child, have instead assaulted him or her." Sexual
assault includes fondling the child in an inappropriate way and can invite a penalty of a minimum three years in jail. In keeping with the
existing law, the age of consent has been retained as 16 and a consensual sexual act between persons aged between 16 to 18 years would
not be considered as criminal.
With the increasing incidence of child pornography, chapter III of the
Bill stipulates "use of children for pornographic purpose or possessing
pornographic material involving children" as a crime and proposes a penalty of three years.
There is also obligation on the media, studio and photographic facilities not to report such cases and failure to do so will attract
punishment. The media has been barred from reporting the cases without having
complete and authentic information and from disclosing the identity of the child. Source: India Today
Rajasthan govt to set up child protection society
Jaipur, Jan 19 (PTI) The Rajasthan government will set upa society for
ensuring child protection in the state. The decision to set up Rajasthan State Child Protectionsociety was taken
in a cabinet meeting here, an official said. The society will ensure protection and rehabilitation of underprivileged and deserted children, he said.
"It was also decided that a five-year plan will beprepared to ensure
better execution of the schemes for slumdwellers and urban poor," he said.