Child welfare schemes only on paper: Activists
The third MA Vanaja memorial lecture conducted Hyderabad : There is a yawning gap between plans and their...
The third MA Vanaja memorial lecture conducted
Hyderabad : There is a yawning gap between plans and their implementation as far as child welfare is concerned, said Prof. S Galab, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social studies (CESS) on Sunday. Delivering the third memorial lecture on MA Vanaja, a rights activist, (who died young fighting for the cause of children, physically challenged and women) on childhood poverty in AP, some observations, he said, "The government is coming with various schemes for child welfare.
But how many people were being covered by each one of them? This is the underlying question to be answered." Stressing on the need for a policy shift, he said Bangaru Thalli was similar to a scheme brought in by TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu during his stint as the chief minister. "Naidu could not cover even five per cent of the population during his period," he remarked.
He said that the poor children in the State deserved to be addressed by focusing total attention. The policies devised by the government to address the issue and their failure in implementation deserved equal attention. He pointed out that every time a issue was identified as a problem area, the government comes up with a policy statement on it, but the efforts to resolve it required a great deal of time and path and was not free from hurdles.
According to him, the social structure in the country with hierarchical caste structure and gender constraints was one of the deep-rooted problems with implications not only on women, but over children and weaker sections. "These are the two social structures, which play an important role and were in fact a driving force in society," said Galab.
Referring to UNICEF's latest report, he said that children now faced with more 'insecurity and risk'. Understanding childhood and poverty and their relationship is crucial to any government intending to solve socio-economic problems. "Even though there is talk of high economic growth, but there is no visible impact on the how this is transforming the lives of children," he noted.
Pointing out at overall growth indicators like reduced malnutrition amongst children, he said that children from the poorer families were at the receiving end. "There is not even a big change in the non-cognitive skills like self efficacy, self esteem and self pride amongst the children," observed Prof. Galab. According to him, the issue of nutrition was directly related with the development of non-cognitive skills amongst the children.
Venkat Reddy of MV Foundation said that as per the NSS study, if each household was spending Rs 50 per day on education, it was spending Rs 90 on liquor, which was the sad truth of the state of affairs in the State. Even though enrollment of students was there in schools, it only remained in registers while the classrooms were empty.
With 95 per cent of the schools having no proper sanitation system, it is believed that half of the girl students drop out of the school owing to the poorly maintained or no toilets. "There are 3 to 3.5 crore illiterates in the State," is the startling figures, he revealed. The convenor of Citizens Care and Collective (CCC), Sajaya observed that globalisation was one of the biggest problems affecting the children.
"In the smaller age groups, it affected physical and mental health and sexuality. Moreover there is exploitation, which is no more considered exploitation", she pointed out.