Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Numbers

A recent article in a local paper talked about the problems that children in India and other countries face, and the staggering statistics.


Increasing Evils towards Children

     In India, thousands (lakhs) of children are deprived of their fundamental rights. Everyday, they are exposed to exploitation, injustice, and evils. Many children are seen in cities working as scrap collectors, beggars, and coolies in hotels and factories, and at bus stands and railway stations.

     Around the world, more than 1 billion (100 crore, 1 crore = 10 million) children work on the streets. Children are used in criminal activities like begging, prostitution, and selling illegal substances, all of which are very harmful to a child’s psyche. Such children have to deal with fear, violence, insomnia, an inferiority complex, and suicidal tendencies.

     Our society is embarrassed because of the poverty-stricken parents who sell their children and because of the teachers who sexually, physically, and verbally abuse students. An alarming percentage of Indian girls below 18 years of age are sexually exploited. Pressure from family members and caregivers forces children to sacrifice their natural instincts and give up their innocent childhood.

     India has more than four million (40 lakhs) child prostitutes. UNICEF reports state that 147.5 million (14.75 crores) children in India are homeless and stay in temples and public spaces. Thirty-three million (3.3 crores) children in India have never seen a school and 50,000 to 60,000 children are infected with HIV. According to the 2001 Karnataka census, the state has more than 350,000 (3.5 lakhs) child workers. The international publication Lancet stated that, in the past 20 years, one million (10 lakhs) female children have been killed because of female infanticide.

     Child marriages, child abuse, injustice, child labor, prostitution, criminal activities, and female infanticide have affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in India. We say that we have no actionable laws in place to solve children’s problems. However, child offenders must be tracked down and caught, and measures must be taken to prevent children from being involved in criminal activities. Programs must be put in place that constantly remind us of the problems that these children face, and we must help solve these problems. Governmental and non-governmental organizational involvement and cooperation is essential.

Original article: