Indian children concerned about violence, poor education
Violence against children and poor education are the two key worries among children in India, according to a UNICEF survey released here on Thursday. Access to healthcare, poverty, bullying or mistreatment and natural disasters are the other main worries, according to the survey.
Over 95% of children in India are worried about violence against them and, what is a matter of concerm is that 51% children who worry about violence being personally inflicted upon them, belong to the tender age group of 9-12 years old.
The survey further said that in the younger age group, the fear of violence against chil- dren personally affecting them, was higher among girls (53%) than boys (47%).
According to experts, reportage of child abuse and sexual violence against children in India has been alarmingly high in the past decade and has led to a constant fear among children in India. This has led to a large number of children expressing their concerns over such issues.
Not only this, acts of terrorism, such as bombs exploding in public places and killing people, also worry as many as 95% of the children surveyed, among which, 48% of children were worried that they may be personally affected by terrorism.
Poor education system in the country has also been a major cause for concern among children in the coun- try. As high as 96% children worry about access to quality education, that is, having little or no access to schools, teachers, an archaic curriculum and lack of infrastructure, according to the UNICEF survey. And as high as 94% of Indian children also worry about access to quality healthcare and an overwhelming majority of 97% of children are worried about poverty in the country, while half among them feel that it could directly affect them someday. The report was released by UNICEF on World Children’s Day on 20 November, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to give children their own platform to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.
Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, said that as part of Children’s Day celebrations this year, the idea was to hear the children themselves speaking on issues that concern them. “We visited Jharkhand and it was very inspiring to see the work being done by the state government, civil society, and the corporate sector on nutrition, child marriages, water sanitation and malnutrition,” Forsyth said. Forsyth further added that despite so many problems, he was impressed with the energy and progress made in India on so many of these issues. Extreme poverty in India has come down from 28-29% to around 15%, he said, adding that India has scripted a success story in addressing some of these key problems.