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Anatomy of child starvation deaths

 By Kathyayini Chamaraj

The shocking facts about the maladministration that led to the recent deaths of severely malnourished children in Raichur and Mysore districts of Karnataka. Fifty per cent of Karnataka’s 0-6 age-group suffers from various stages of malnutrition, with many on the verge of death

starvation deaths

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When they shoot our parents, can we remain in school?

The Orissa government has objected to children joining the anti-Posco agitations when they should be in school. Shouldn’t the government be more concerned about the 29,000 vacancies in primary schools and the fact that police forces have occupied many schools, asks P Sainath

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Saving Baby Babu

By Swapna Majumdar

About 250 newborns die every day in Bihar. But Bihar’s new Sick Newborn Care Units, which cater to over 90,000 infants every year, have helped bring the Infant Mortality Rate down from 56 per 1,000 births in 2008 to 52 per 1,000 in 2009, just 2 points above the national average

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Children in the pits

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Children as young as 10 are working in mines in Bellary district of Karnataka, recent studies and public hearings report. It is the children of displaced and homeless families who are exploited most by the mining mafia

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Confining childhood in India

By Havovi Wadia

Do child rights activists need to step out of the boxes of ‘development’, ‘survival’, ‘protection’ and ‘participation’ into which they have confined India’s children? Do we need to interrogate child rights programming and the somewhat limiting notions of childhood around which it is built?

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In the line of fire

Thousands of children from the Gothi Koya tribe in conflict-torn Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh have become the most tragic and innocent victims of the violence between the state and the insurgents. Rajashri Dasgupta travelled to Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh where the administration has set up residential schools for these orphans and refugees

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Nipped in the bud

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

Child marriage still flourishes, as a recent public hearing revealed. How should the problem be dealt with? By making all marriages under the age of 18 for girls and 21 for boys invalid, instead of only those resulting from force or trafficking as at present? Or by public education the way 12 dalit women who bring out a monthly magazine in Andhra Pradesh called Navodayam do it?

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No juvenile courts in J&K

Text & Photos: Dilnaz Boga

Minors in Jammu & Kashmir are arrested under the stringent Public Safety Act for offences such as stone-pelting and incarcerated in jails together with adults. With neither a functioning Juvenile Justice Act nor juvenile courts for young offenders as in other parts of the country, these children emerge from jail traumatised and radicalised

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A lost generation in Jammu's refugee camps

By Anju Munshi

For 19 years, Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps in Jammu have seen no change in their poor living conditions. Riddled by disease, crammed into one-room tenements, and rendered unemployable by poor education and lack of employment opportunities, a whole generation has grown up angry, depressed and alienated

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Leaving the salt pans to go to school

Children rescued from labour and given an education have seen a dramatic change in their lives. Usha Rai reports after hearing the rescued children speak at the recent National Convention on Right to Education and Abolition of Child Labour

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Little justice for juveniles

By Sriranjini Vadiraj

Children picked up for theft and assault are lodged at observation homes. Children in need of care and protection, including runaways, end up here too. What are the conditions in these homes? Has the Juvenile Justice Act passed eight years ago made any difference? This article finds out

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The hi-tech seeds of child labour

By Sujata Madhok

The fallout of Bt cotton cultivation in Gujarat has been a rapid increase in acreage under cotton, a spurt in cotton exports and consequently, a huge demand for child labourers from neighbouring states

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Children speak up

By Monideepa Sahu

The Karnataka government has passed an order making it mandatory for panchayats in the state to offer children a platform to voice their concerns and problems, through special children's gram sabhas

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Children as chattel

By Shelley Seale

Ashikul Islam and Sahiful Mondal are child labourers who today live at Muktaneer, a home for destitute boys in Kolkata. They are the lucky ones who found a refuge and rehabilitation, and went on to make an award-winning film. There are over 44 million child labourers in India

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On the streets where they live?...

By Neeta Lal

Delhi enjoys India's highest per capita income and lowest percentage of people living below the poverty line. Yet Delhi ranks first among 35 other cities in crimes against children. A recent survey reveals the exploitation and abuse suffered by Delhi's 5 million working and street children

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The missing face of AIDS

By Shelley Seale

Yesu Babu of Vambay Colony in Vijayawada is 12. He has lost both his parents to AIDS. His younger brother is positive. There are almost 2 million AIDS orphans like him in India. But the national and global response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in India has virtually ignored children

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Giving children a voice in the media

By Kavita Ratna

Children are often said to be the 'future' of the country. The fact is they are citizens today. The media must provide space for children's expressions, needs and rights. It must draw up guidelines for the representation of children to prevent sensationalism, exploitation and invasion of privacy

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CSOs demand a more comprehensive child marriage bill

By Rashme Sehgal

CSOs protest the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, which places the onus of declaring a child marriage void on the child herself or her parents, and scarcely goes further than the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929

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'Donors are stuck in sympathy mode': Ingrid Srinath

By Lisa Batiwalla

CRY, which has just changed its nomenclature from Child Relief and You to Child Rights and You, is trying to bring about an attitudinal change to children's issues, from charity-focused to issue-based support. It has also changed its approach to middle class citizens -- from merely asking them to write out a cheque to getting them to volunteer to advocate the cause of child rights, says Ingrid Srinath, CEO of CRY

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Child abuse in Mumbai: A tourist's report

By Neil Carless

Young, sick infants are carted around in polystyrene boxes and produced to extract money from sympathetic tourists. This South Mumbai scam is perpetrated right under the noses of the local police

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India is home to the largest number of AIDS orphans in the world

By Aditi Sen

Children in HIV/AIDS-affected households begin to suffer even before a parent or caregiver has died. Household income plummets, schooling is interrupted and many children are forced to work or care for a sick parent. But India has no national policy to address the impact of HIV/AIDS on children in particular

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Children on the mean streets of Chennai

By Sumithra Thangavelu

Unprecedented rains in Chennai over the last few months have destroyed the homes and possessions of hundreds of poor slum and pavement-dwellers. The worst-affected are children

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The problem of child labour intensifies in UP's carpet belt

By Rashme Sehgal

The campaign against child labour began in the carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh in the late-1970s. Three decades on, what has changed? Our correspondent travelled through the Mirzapur-Bhadohi belt, where children are hard at work making tufted carpets for the global market

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Back to school

By Freny Manecksha

Part of a campaign to eliminate child labour in five districts of Maharashtra, the staff of Tandulwadi's government school and the local community have transformed the school and lured dropouts and child labourers back into its cheerful classrooms

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Sting operation to find 'missing' girl-child

By Durga Chandran

Sting operations are not conducted by the media and law-enforcement agencies alone. The Satara-based CSO, Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, has nabbed seven doctors red-handed for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and revealing the sex of foetuses

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Delhi's skewed sex ratio: "24,000 girls go missing every year"

By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boys

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Semi-literate, and saving lives

By Freny Manecksha

Nine months ago, in one of India's least-developed districts, Malika was born, premature and underweight, with pneumonia, umbilical sepsis and hypothermia. This is the story of how she survived, thanks to the efforts of village health worker Gandhara Bhagde

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Children of the sea

By Freny Manecksha

For weeks after the tsunami, children in the fishing villages around Chennai displayed signs of trauma, and viewed the sea that had engulfed their homes and disrupted their lives with fear. Four months after the disaster, they're returning to school, and returning also, to the giving sea

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Rehabilitating children: Adoption is not the answer

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

In Gujarat, the government banned the adoption of children orphaned by the quake. In Orissa after the supercyclone, women and orphaned children were housed in Mamta Grihas within villages. After the tsunami, the adoption of orphaned children is being seriously discussed, even though it's clear that children flourish in their own cultural context

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On the road with village health workers

By Freny Manecksha

Ankur, a home-based neo-natal care programme based on the acclaimed SEARCH model, is operative in 11 villages of Osmanabad district in Maharashtra. The programme is making a tangible difference to the health of infants and mothers. Freny Manecksha goes on night calls through the twisting lanes of Chauhanwadi with two village health workers

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Fear and loathing in god's own country

By Max Martin

Akshara (8) and Ananthu (6) have been boycotted at school and in their village of Kodiyoor in Kerala because they are HIV-positive. Following pressure from several quarters, they have now been allotted a separate room at school in which to study, and a new teacher

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Orissa's child domestic workers: The 'nowhere' children

By Manipadma Jena

In a state where 48% live below the poverty line, and where natural disasters take their toll every year, it is not surprising that the population of child labour has increased by 15%. Many of these children work as domestic workers, abused, burnt and exploited in every way

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Bal Sansads: Members of Parliament at 11

By Lalitha Sridhar

As India constitutes its 14th Parliament in New Delhi, 4,000 children in Tilonia, Rajasthan, have elected 56 members of parliament to their fifth Bal Sansad. The Bal Sansad is a novel way to teach children about democratic processes. But it's not just about role-playing: children are actually responsible for school administration and solving local problems such as water management

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Pioneering government-NGO partnership to manage juvenile homes

By Lalitha Sridhar

Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the NGO Relief Foundation, has pioneered Chennai's first government-NGO partnership for the management of juvenile homes

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Orissa's IMR Mission

By Elisa Patnaik

Orissa has the highest infant mortality rate in the country at 97 per 1,000 live births. Approximately 86,000 infants die in the state each year. Poor healthcare facilities for mother and child, malnutrition, malaria and lack of awareness are major contributing factors. Can the state reduce IMR to the targeted 60/1,000 by 2005?

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Forced underground: Child labour in India's carpet belt

By Rashme Arora

Media attention worldwide has only forced the practice of child labour in the carpet weaving industry of UP, Jharkhand and Bihar underground. In several towns and villages that this reporter travelled to across three North Indian states, children continue to work the looms, but behind closed and guarded doors. Child labour is a fact of life say both factory-owners and parents of the children working here. If they do not work, how will they eat?

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Cash can't end discrimination

By Sakuntala Narasimhan

Will the recently announced cash incentives to poor mothers giving birth to girls really help to discourage female infanticide, female foeticide or the pervasive neglect of girl-children?

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The barber's wife: Sex advisor to child brides

By Pamela Bhagat

In the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, where no family planning campaign has ever penetrated, it is the Naun or barber's wife who accompanies child brides to their husbands' homes at puberty and advises them on family planning and family welfare. This traditional practice does not seem likely to change in the foreseeable future

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