Children and Poverty in India

Published: 2019-12-20 08:00:00
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According to the World Health Organization poverty is the state when the human health is compromised. It is when a person is malnourished, exposed to greater personal and environmental health risks and is unable to access health care. Health of individuals in the lower level of socioeconomic is usually the worst. As a result of poverty in India, children have been adversely affected in some ways

Firstly, there has been an increase in child labor. International Labour Organization noted that most people living in India are poor. In 1990, 37% of people in urban centers and 39% of people in rural centers were living in poverty. Studies have revealed that poverty has a positive correlation with child labor.Indeed, there is an economic value attached to children in developing countries and, low-income families are using this to their advantage. Children are being used to earn their parents their daily bread. However, after children grow up to a certain level. They become more of an economic burden and take on less economic importance as contributors. In fact, some parents in developing countries have children so that they can help them in house chores and financially benefit later in life. It is worth noting that, an increase in rural-to-urban migration has increased the rate of child labor in urban towns in developing countries.

Another effect of poverty is that it has interfered with a Child's health and development, poor nutrition affects a child's brain, and he fails to process emotions, has a poor memory, sensory perception, speech, and spatial navigation. Also, as a result of child labor which is approved by parents, their development is interfered, and it leads to children dropping out of schools, behavioral problems in school and at home and inferiority complex in children

Third, a child learning conditions are not conducive, and thus his education is impeded. Schools in third world countries are typically overcrowded, have poor sanitation and unconcerned teachers. This makes parents see no need of education and sending their children to school. Instead, they prefer them to stay at home, help with chores or do manual labor for pay. Therefore parents act as a strong determinant if a child is going to attend class. Lack of money and the need to survive are the key reasons why parents opt their kids to work instead of going to school. So far, India has the largest number of young workers, reason being 82 million children are not in school. Only a handful get a good education (In India 41 percent of 15-year-olds and above are literate).

Fourth, Poverty leads to illiteracy, poor sanitation, and poor nutrition. All these have resulted in a high child mortality rate. A devastating report by Save the Children, explains how the government has failed to provide quality health services for the poor who make up the most of India. Though India's economy is growing it is ranked fourth last in public health spending. The primary causes of urban and rural child mortality among the poor in India are malnutrition, neonatal diseases, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

Fifth, child marriages and prostitution are happening because parents are forcing their kids into brothels so that they can earn money for the family. Poverty is the prime reason to children indulging into prostitution, most of them say that home is not conducive for them, they claim there is no any other way to live their life unless they work. Also, consumerism and materialism which is related to "relative poverty" both by parents and children is another aspect contributing to child prostitution. Some of the neighborhoods poor children grow up in are characterized by high density, crime, penury and few opportunities to access good education. These kids experience conflict, violence, and social unrest when growing up

Poverty hinders people from getting a balanced diet and thus leads to malnutrition, hunger leads to lack of parents and kids working since they do not have the strength; the result is a further increment of poverty levels. Rural-urban migration has led to Urban towns having the worst cases of malnutrition. This is due to overpopulation in urban cities, leading to depletion of the limited resources. Lack of enough food, pollution of drinking water and the environment as a whole, bad feeding habits by mothers and absence of responsible parenting have contributed to malnutrition in children. Clear and direct strategies need to be formulated, analyzed and implemented so as to curb undernutrition in IndiaThere are some ways to remedy undernutrition in India. First, India's Targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) benefit households below the poverty line, which are eligible to receive 20 kg of cereals per month at subsidized rates. Several states have included other provisions such as sugar, pulses, and kerosene through PDS. Second, Nutritional supplementation schemes like The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). This plan provides food supplements to pregnant, lactating women and pre-school children. The National Programme for Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE), launched in 1995 is a centrally sponsored scheme that entitles all primary school children in the country to hot cooked balanced diet meals at lunch time. Third, Conditional cash transfers have been used as a small pilot 'money for food' project in urban slums of Delhi sponsored by the UNDP has found that cash transfers in place of PDS entitlements, could promote dietary diversity without compromising food security or increasing wasteful expenditures. The Indian government has opened yet another sector for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retailing, which accounts for 14% of GDP and employs about 3.3% of the population. Much of the retailing industry presently is informal FDI could increase the availability of fruits and vegetables from the nutritional standpoint. It is also claimed that organized retail could enhance agricultural revenues through the abolition of intermediaries.

Some of the reasons that have continued to widen the big gap between the poor and the rich in India are caste, education, and job discrimination. One of the determinants of poverty is the caste system. Lower caste children are forced into child labor because of their families are poor. Poverty and the lack of a social security network aggregate child labor. Also the poor have few places where they qualify or can acquire a bank, government and credit facilities loans. This explains the reason why fFor an average of two thousand rupees, parents force heir children to work. The second reason is education as earlier discussed and lastly job discrimination which is a ripple effect of the two reasons.

India has come up with strategies for reducing poverty. These are: mandatory education, this strategy requires all children to go to school instead of working, it aims at encouraging kids to go to school free of charge and parents to take them to school; Another strategy is the concept of wage employment programs like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) Scheme, enacted through a central legislation in August 2005. This flagship scheme of the government provides a legal guarantee of at least 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do unskilled manual work at statutory minimum wages. Also, establishing partnerships with international organizations dedicated to improving children's welfare.

In conclusion, most strategies and policy have been developed and put in place to fight poverty and undernutrition in Indian kids. However, the ghost of malnutrition and poverty is still haunting India. All this is because of failure at the implementation stage which is caused by Corruption, greed, and discrimination. If all these key areas were addressed and strategies that have been formulated followed to the latter, extreme poverty levels witnessed in India will reduce. Eradication of child labor will be realized, and there will be an increase in the number of children attending schools. This will lead to more graduates fit for the job market and who can provide for their families either through employment or entrepreneurship.

Works Cited

Badiwala, Mitesh, M.D. "Child Labour in India: Causes, Governmental Policies and the Role of Education | Child Labour|Related Documents / Research Papers / Reports." Child Labour in India: Causes, Governmental Policies and the Role of Education | Child Labour|Related Documents / Research Papers / Reports. N.p., 1998. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

Chamberlain, Gethin. "Two Million Slum Children Die Every Year as India Booms." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

Chandra, Colonel Y Udaya. The Ailing India. Chennai: Notion, 2016. Https://books.google.co.ke. Notion Press, 2016. Web. 19 Nov. 2016

Gathia, J. A. Child Prostitution in India. New Delhi: Concept Pub., 1999. Print.

Naidu, M.C., and K. Dasaratha Ramaiah. "Child Labour in India - An Overview." (2006): 199-204. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

News, BBC. "What Is India's Caste System?" BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

"Poverty." Http://www.who.int. World Health Organisation, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Siddiqi, Faraaz, and Harry Anthony. Patrinos. Child Labor: Issues, Causes, and Interventions. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, Human Resources Development and Operations Policy, 1995. Print.

Varadharajan, Kiruba S., MD, Tinku Thomas, Ph.D., and Anura V. Kurpad, MD, Ph.D. "Poverty and the State of Nutrition in India." (2013): 326-39. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

"Why Are so Many Children Dying in India?" CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

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