In­dian chil­dren con­cerned about vi­o­lence, poor education

The Sunday Guardian - - Front Page -

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.

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