Children


From Home to School

CHILDREN of the poor spend much of their time in and around their homes. Many are out of school; some earn money for their families and most are absorbed in domestic work. As a result of several features of their lives – the absence of good schools, punitive teachers, difficulty in accessing school, and responsibilities in the home – these children find it easier to avoid going to school and become either school drop-outs or add to the population figures in the ‘illiterate’ column.

Caring for children

Only a society that cares for its children, especially the very young, can be said to be truly developed. Our society has failed its children, rendered them unprotected and ignored their basic rights; they are in any case voiceless and do not constitute a vote bank. Our newborn children, toddlers and those who can barely talk or express themselves, the 0-36 month olds, not only live precarious lives but have limited access to institutional care and government systems.

The diverse learning needs of children

Even a casual observation of children shows that they develop at differing pace and, over time, achieve different levels of skills in various areas. This paper attempts to examine the diversity in the development of children by focusing on situations where there may be low ability. It is believed that diversity is a result of individual factors, parenting situations and the inputs of professionals working with young children.

A walk in the clouds with a pocketful of magic

Stories have traditionally served as a means of projecting the society’s core values from generation to generation, but more importantly provided a mechanism for bonding. Indeed, many of us may recount childhood interactions with wondrous stories which have forever come to occupy a special place in our hearts. It was often with the utterance of those few magical words – ‘Once Upon a Time…’ – whereafter we would be transported to an extraordinary world where the limitless boundaries of fantasy would enrapture our imagination and hold us blissfully captive.

Combating the dual nutrition burden in children

At the time of independence, India faced the twin problems of acute and chronic undernutrition of its children. This was essentially a result of low dietary intake because of poverty and low purchasing power, high prevalence of infection because of poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health care and poor utilization of available facilities due to low literacy and lack of awareness.

Ensuring child protection

All children have the right to be protected wherever they are – at home, in school, on the streets – and at all times, be they of peace or conflict or calamity. Their right to protection is as intrinsic to their well-being as is the right to survival, development and participation. Children deserve to live in an environment where good governance and the full enjoyment of human rights are mutually reinforcing.

Why are children neglected?

All children have the right to be protected wherever they are – at home, in school, on the streets – and at all times, be they of peace or conflict or calamity. Their right to protection is as intrinsic to their well-being as is the right to survival, development and participation. Children deserve to live in an environment where good governance and the full enjoyment of human rights are mutually reinforcing.