#India – The National Policy for Children, 2012


Pib press Release

CHILDRAPE

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to the National Policy for Children, 2012. The Policy reaffirms the government`s commitment to the realisation of the rights of all children in the country. It recognizes every person below the age of eighteen years as a child and that childhood is an integral part of life with a value of its own, and a long term, sustainable, multi-sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach is necessary for the harmonious development and protection of children.
The policy lays down the guiding principles that must be respected by national, state and local governments in their actions and initiatives affecting children. Some of the key guiding principles are: the right of every child to life, survival, development, education, protection and participation; equal rights for all children without discrimination; the best interest of the child as a primary concern in all actions and decisions affecting children; and family environment as the most conducive for all-round development of children.
The policy has identified survival, health, nutrition, education, development, protection and participation as the undeniable rights of every child, and has also declared these as key priority areas.
As children`s needs are multi-sectoral, interconnected and require collective action, the policy aims at purposeful convergence and strong coordination across different sectors and levels of governance; active engagement and partnerships with all stakeholders; setting up of a comprehensive and reliable knowledge base; provision of adequate resources; and sensitization and capacity development of all those who work for and with children.
A National Plan of Action will be developed to give effect to the policy and a National Coordination and Action Group (NCAG) will be constituted to monitor the progress of implementation. Similar plans and coordination and action groups will be constituted at the state and district levels. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights are to ensure that the principles of the policy are respected in all sectors at all levels. There is a provision for review of the policy every five years. The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be the nodal ministry for overseeing and coordinating the implementation of the policy and will lead the review process.
***

 

VICTORY !!!-Agreement with Christy Friedgram cancelled #Goodnews


Bageshree S., Bangalore , The Hindu

Government Order  issued in the light of ‘several instances of lapses’

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The controversial agreement between the Women and Child Welfare Department and Christy Friedgram Industry on supply of supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis has finally been cancelled in the light of “several instances of lapses”.

The Government Order (GO) of May 31 admits that there had been serious flaws in the execution of the agreement by the company, ranging from deviously retaining control over Mahila Supplementary Nutrition Production and Training Centres to flouting stipulated standards in maintaining quality of food supplied to anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

While the department officials previously maintained that company was not hired as a contractor for food supply but only as a capacity builder, the Government Order makes it clear that it (the company) had indeed been indirectly working as contractor.

As per the April 2009 agreement, the company was to set up mahila training centres and train the staff to work completely independently before May 2012. These centres were to produce nutritional food, package and supply it to anganwadis for feeding children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

“Even after three years, the mahila training centres are not capable of working independently,” says the Government Order.

The members of these centres are neither technically nor administratively competent, according to the Government Order.

More importantly, it admits that the company continued to have control over the mahila training centres even though the company was only meant to hand-hold them.

It says that the project facilitators were employees “in the pay of the company” and the raw material too continued to be supplied by the company.

“Rather than procure material from the local market, items such as sambar powder, ragi malt and high protein mix were supplied from units set up by the company in Nelamangala, Davangere and Gulbarga,” the Government Order says and adds that the setting up of these units was not brought to the attention of the department.

Low quality

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories and used colours that were not permitted.

An earlier inspection had found that there was no hygiene maintained and food contained ‘coliform bacteria’. Contrary to the terms of the agreement, the food quality and infrastructure was not certified by a competent authority.

Several of the mahila training centres have been running under loss, which again is the responsibility of the capacity builder, and the government has been giving them loans of Rs. 10 lakh each at an interest rate of four per cent, in an attempt to help them revive.

Child rights and civil society organisations have for long been campaigning against the company being involved in the supply of food to anganwadis, pointing to several loopholes now admitted in the Government Order. Cases of child malnutrition in the State had further fuelled this controversy.

Three officials, the former Director of the Department Shamla Iqbal, Deputy Director Usha Patwari and Assistant Director Muniraju, are being investigated by the Lokayukta in connection with the scam.


  • The company was supplying supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis
  • Under the agreement, it was to have set up mahila training centres

 

Malnourished kids battle to stay alive in Maharshtra- Shining India ?


18-year-old Sarjubai Tota (lying behind the baby) weighs a mere 28 kg and was paralysed in the third month of her pregnancy. On May 20, she gave birth to a girl, who weighs 1 kg, without any medical assistance

, TNN | May 29, 2012,

SANGRAMPUR (BULDHANA): On May 20, 18-year-old Sarjubai Tota gave birth to a girl without any medical assistance in her thatched, one-room marital home. While Sarjubai weighs a mere 28 kg, her daughter weighs 1 kg (the normal weight for a newborn is around 2.5 kg).
Eight days on, Sarjubai hasn’t even held her daughter once. In fact, she is oblivious to her daughter’s presence. Paralysed in the third month of her pregnancy, Sarjubai now drifts in and out of consciousness and spends most of her time moaning in pain.

As shocking as Sarjubai’s situation is, this is the way of life for people in Shemba village where the Totas reside. The Sangrampur block, which includes Shemba village, of Buldhana district has emerged as the new Melghat with over 2,000 malnourished children and this year’s drought has only made things worse.

“I have to trek four km down a hill and then walk another six km to reach a shop from where I can buy milk. Water is a luxury and we get it if we are lucky. I don’t know how my wife and child will survive in these conditions,” said Sarjubai’s husband Santosh (20).

So scarce is water that the 400-odd people residing in Shemba village have to trudge down a rocky terrain for a kilometer to access the two nearest hand pumps. “Children suffer the most during a drought. While getting basic nourishment for them is a problem, they also have to run around for basic resources,” said an anganwadi teacher.

With inadequate healthcare facilities and anganwadis remaining shut for most of the summer months, villagers in the Sangrampur taluka watch helplessly as children wilt away due to malnutrition. Shemba alone has 40 malnourished children. Of the two anganwadis in the village, the one run by the zilla parishad is closed most of the time, said residents. The second, run by the Gajanan Maharaj Trust, is doing its bit by distributing food.

The Sangrampur taluka comprises 105 villages and has 3.25 lakh residents. Of these, 15,000 live below the poverty line. While the entire region is plagued by malnutrition, 18 tribal villages are worst hit.

In 2011, 23 child deaths were recorded in the taluka and activists claim this is a deflated figure. According to the data available with the child development care department, 18% or 2,567 children of the total 14,905 in the region suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition, which means they don’t weigh as much as they should in keeping with their age. Technically, 308 children suffer from moderate acute malnutrition and 28 from severe acute malnutrition (their weight does not correspond to height). This despite the fact that there are 173 anganwadis in the region to “cater to the needs” of the children.

Villagers and activists said they don’t remember a single primary healthcare worker visiting the region or balanced died being served to children in the recent past. “Although drought has been declared here, no efforts are being made to ease the situation. Critical patients have to be taken either to the government hospital in Akola which is 85 km away or Shegaon which is 60 km away,” said activist Kailash Khadse.

An integrated child development services official said, “We provide a balanced diet to children. Often, it is because people in these areas are uneducated that problems arise.”

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