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Child rights in India

Child rights in India are an essential aspect of our society. These rights are like a protective shield that ensures children grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. In this article, we will explore child rights in the context of India, emphasising the positive efforts being made to safeguard the well-being of our youngest citizens.

Right to Education

Every child in India has the right to education. The government has taken significant steps to make quality education accessible to all children. The Right to Education Act, enacted in 2009, guarantees free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to 14 years. This law has led to a significant increase in school enrollment and literacy rates among children.

Right to Health

Child health is of utmost importance. The government has implemented various programmes to provide children with access to healthcare services. Programms like the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the National Health Mission focus on child nutrition, immunisation, and maternal healthcare. These initiatives have contributed to reducing child mortality rates.

Protection from Child Labour

Child labour is a concerning issue, but India has taken strides to protect children from exploitation. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act prohibits the employment of children under 14 in hazardous occupations. Additionally, various schemes aim to rehabilitate child labourers and provide them with educational opportunities.

Right to Play and Leisure

Children have the right to play and relax. The government recognises this and encourages sports and recreational activities through programmes like ‘Khelo India’. These initiatives promote physical fitness and the overall well-being of children.

Protection from Abuse and Exploitation

Child abuse and exploitation are grave concerns, but India has laws and mechanisms in place to combat these issues. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act is one such law that aims to safeguard children from sexual abuse. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also works tirelessly to protect children’s rights.

Right to Identity

Birth registration is crucial in ensuring that every child can enjoy the right to a name and nationality. The government has been actively promoting birth registration through various campaigns, ensuring that every child is officially recognised.

Right to a Healthy Environment

A clean and healthy environment is essential for children’s well-being. Initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promote cleanliness and sanitation, which directly benefits children’s health.

Right to Participation

Children have a voice, and their opinions matter. India encourages child participation through platforms like the Bal Panchayat (Child Parliament) and various school councils. These platforms allow children to express their views and take part in decision-making processes.

Child rights in India are not just words on paper; they are a commitment to providing our youngest citizens with the best possible start in life.

While challenges still exist, the positive strides made by the government and various organisations demonstrate a dedication to ensuring a bright and secure future for our children. It is through these collective efforts India is working to uphold the rights of every child.

Bal Raksha Bharat (also known as Save the Children), a leading independent child rights organisation, has been working to promote and protect child rights in India since the 1940s. The organisation has reached over 10.1 million children across 19 states in India with its sustainable, community-driven projects. From remote locations to urban areas, it works to provide children with quality education and healthcare, protection from harm and abuse, and life-saving aid during emergencies.

The role and efforts of such NGOs underlines the reality that child rights in India are not merely legal provisions but are the cornerstone of a just and equitable society. Enshrined in the Constitution and further fortified by international conventions, these rights serve as a moral compass, guiding our nation towards a more inclusive and compassionate future.  NGOs like Bal Raksha Bharat are working on the frontlines to ensure that every child in India can grow up in an environment that nurtures their potential and protects their dignity.

Today, India stands resolute in its commitment to protect and uphold the rights of every child. With the active participation of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and civil society, positive change in the sphere of child rights is being achieved every day, across the length and breadth of the country.

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