The UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child had drafted basic rights of a child which focus on survival, development,
protection and participation. One of the rights is the Right to survival, life,
health and nutrition.
The right to a healthy life is a very
basic right for every human being. But yet most children are deprived of this
basic right. The issue is so serious that even today; one in every 2 children
in India is malnourished. Often, children don’t receive the necessary nutrition
and good quality healthcare required for a healthy childhood. Some of the
reasons for this issue are:
- A weak mother is very likely to
give birth to a weak, unhealthy child
- Lack of timely immunisation (to
mother and child) at the time of child birth
- Absence of nutrients in the
meals (especially during the first 5 – most important years of development)
- Lack of awareness about the
importance of nutrition and immunisation
- Absence of or Improper
functioning of healthcare centres provided by the government
Some families simply don’t earn enough
to provide even basic food, leave alone nutrients How can this issue be muted?
The government has designed some schemes
and facilities that should be working towards resolving the issue of malnutrition.
Some of these facilities are:
Immunisation provisions in government hospitals
The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Centre and Anganwaadis monitor development of children between the ages of 0-6, provides supplementary nutrition and ante-natal care to children and women. The
ICDS is a major national programme by the government that addresses the health
and nutrition needs of children under the age of six. It seeks to reach out to
young children with an integrated package of services, including supplementary
nutrition, health care and pre-school education. Since the needs of a young
child cannot be addressed in isolation from those of the mother’s, the
programme also extends to adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
meals in schools are given to all children to
supplement the lack of food and nutrition at home.
Despite the creation of these
facilities, there is a gap in their implementation – which means that the people
who were intended to be the beneficiaries of these schemes are unable to avail
How can YOU help fight
CRY – Child Rights and You, is running a
campaign ‘FULL – Fight Undernourishment Little by Little’. This campaign aims
at ensuring healthcare for 28,000 children across India; and your support can
make it happen.
With the support of local NGO's in
different parts of the country, CRY works towards ensuring that children and
families receive their rightful healthcare, by making sure that government
healthcare schemes are implemented correctly in villages and slums; so that -
the ICDS centres function well; children and mothers get timely nutrients and immunisation;
children receive mid-day meals in school and the communities are educated about
the importance of healthcare and nutrition.