5 Mar 2014

Schemes for Development and Protection of Children

Schemes for Development and Protection of Children
The Government of India has taken note of the prevalence of malnutrition, child marriage, child labour, trafficking and dropouts at the elementary level of education in the country as per the indicators below.

Malnutrition: As per National Family Health Survey III the rate of malnutrition has declined from
42.7% in 1998-99 (NFHS-2) to 40.4% in 2005-06 (NFHS-3) for children below 3 years of age.

Child marriage : As per National Family Health Survey III (NFHS III : 2005-06) the percentage of women between the age of 18-29, who married before reaching age of 18, i.e. before reaching the legal age for marriage is 46 %.

Child Labour: The total number of working children in the country has declined from 1.26 crore as per the Census 2001 to 49.84 lakh in 2009-10 as per NSSO Survey.

Dropouts at the elementary level education in the country: As per District Information System for Education (DISE) data, the Annual Average Dropout Rate at Primary level has reduced from 6.5 % for 2011-12 to 5.62 for 2012-13.

The Government has initiated various Schemes to address the problems. Some of the Schemes are outlined as follows:
·         Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which provides a package of six services to children below 6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers which inter-alia includes supplementary nutrition.

·         Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) was introduced in 2009-10 with the aim to contribute to the improvement in the well being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as the reduction of vulnerabilities to situations that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children from their families.
·         Scheme for Welfare of Working Children in Need of Care and Protection provides opportunities including non-formal education, vocational training, etc. to working children to facilitate their entry / re-entry into mainstream education.
·         Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)-SABLAaims at an all-round development of adolescent girls (AGs) of 11-18 years by making them self reliant by facilitating access to learning, health and nutrition through various interventions such as health, education, vocational training etc. Such empowerment also addresses the issue of Child Marriage.
·         Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) is a Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme for pregnant and lactating women which was introduced in October, 2010 for improved health and nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers.
·         Trafficking: “Ujjawala” – is a Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation, Re-integration and Repatriation of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
·         Rehabilitation of Child Labour : National Child Labour Project (NCLP) is a Scheme with the objective to withdraw children working in hazardous occupations and processes, and mainstream them into formal education system. All children rescued/withdrawn in the age group of 9-14 years are enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system.

The details of the funds released under the three major schemes viz., Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) and Ujjawala scheme administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is as per table below:

In addition to implementing the Schemes and programmes as above, the Government has also initiated several legislative measures viz

(i)                 The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act),
(ii)               The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) 2006,
(iii)             The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956,
(iv)             The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986,
                (v)               The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 etc., Workshops, Seminars, legal awareness camps and consultation are held with the State Governments, NGOs and other stakeholders for sensitisation and wider public awareness.

This was stated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.

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