The phenomenal growth and development that India has undergone in the past two decades have contributed a lot to the global human development index. Conditions of extreme poverty have been reduced to some extent, the infant mortality rate has reduced, more and more children are now going to school, and a majority of women in rural areas are now giving birth at proper health facilities. Despite significant achievements that the nation has seen towards the eradication of poverty, several challenges still remain, and we still have a long way to go for ensuring an improved quality of life for everyone, especially when it comes to the poor and underprivileged children. While many positive changes have been affected, here are some obstacles that poor children still face in India when it comes to getting an education, living a healthy life, and most importantly, sustaining themselves.
Child labour is one of the most common problems that we see almost every day in our lives, and we need to work towards eradicating this issue by giving help to the needy in terms of providing them access to proper education, which can be done through donations to the right charity or NGO. Many children below the age of 18 are forced to work by poor parents for food and money. These children, who are stuck in the trap of child labour, have either never gone to school or are forced to drop out of school so they can start earning. Children are even sent to work in establishments with hazardous conditions, like in glass factories, firecracker factories, construction sites, etc. The worst kind of child labour is hidden labour and bonded labour where children are sold by their parents for money. This case is most common with the girl child.
Child Marriage is a practice that has been observed in backward societies of India for ages. Although, the rate of child marriage has declined drastically thanks to many Government schemes and policies, it still remains one of the root causes of illiteracy and poverty in developing countries like India. Children who are married at a very young age are often likely to experience domestic violence and domestic abuse as well.
Illiteracy results in poverty and pushes the development of a country further back. In rural areas, there are many problems that add to an inadequate education system, such as poor school infrastructure, teachers who are not well-qualified to teach children, lack of electric supply in schools, unavailability of separate toilets, lack of medical facilities, etc. The education of the girl child is still a point of major concern that requires social awareness about the fact that education is important for all genders for leading a quality life.
Almost every day, at least one case of child abuse is highlighted in the news, and 90% of the child abuse cases are, even today, committed against the girl child. India was considered to be at an epidemic level in terms of child abuse between the years 2001 and 2011, according to a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights. It is high time that such occurrences stop, and we help the needy and the people from underprivileged sections, so our country can walk as one on a path towards prosperity.
Malnutrition, poor sanitation, and poverty are some of the major problems that lead to the high child mortality rates in India. The child mortality rate in India is higher than in our neighbouring countries, like Bangladesh and Nepal, which have fewer doctors and are comparatively poorer.
Forced begging is another one of the major problems in India that have trapped lakhs of children and forced them into begging, which in many cases leads to drug addiction and sexual and mental violence as well. According to the National Human Rights Commission, there is a multi-million-rupee begging cartel that is responsible for the abduction of over 40,000 children every year in India. We need to become the voice of these poor children and help them in any way possible. Making donations for the poor and needy children to NGOs that are dedicated to eradicating such evils from our society is a good way to start and do your bit.
The term stunting refers to the prevention of children from growing or developing properly. Stunting in India has been an outcome of malnutrition in lakhs of poor children and needs to be eradicated from the country by our joint contributions. Stunting is not a standalone issue; it gives rise to many other developmental problems in children as well.
Diarrhoea is one of the diseases that can be easily prevented but still remains one of the key ailments in poor children below the age of five. Diarrhoea results in loss of appetite that ultimately leads to malnutrition and high child mortality rates. According to a report by UNICEF, diarrhoea and respiratory infections are among the most prominent root causes of child deaths in India. Everyone needs to come forward and try to help the needy people, no matter how big or small your contribution may be.
Due to many cultural barriers and prejudices, the male child is preferred more over the girl child, leading to several cases of female foeticide, which is a major problem in India. The girl child is not allowed access to proper education and is forced out of school before they can even get their basic education. The problem of gender discrimination is a very common sight in the rural parts of India, where the need for awareness can be felt the most.
Children up till a certain age should be kept away from all toxic stress and other related problems. But due to their condition where they need to struggle every day for even basic necessities, poor children go through a lot of mental and physical stress. Toxic stress becomes a hindrance in a child’s ability to learn and grow, and there are numerous NGOs that accept donations for the poor and needy, which are working hard every day to try and provide these children with a safe environment.
When it comes to providing help to the needy and people from the underprivileged sections of society, we have come a long way in recent times, thanks to charity organisations and NGOs like Narayan Seva Sansthan, who are dedicated to working towards the betterment of society. But a long way still lies ahead and every bit of help can help change someone’s life.
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