Essay Example on Street children are among the most vulnerable groups in India









Review of Literature Street children are among the most vulnerable groups in India having limited access to adult supervision protection education health care They are visible all over the cities near traffic signals railway platforms religious places shopping areas near bus and auto stands under flyovers bridges or on road pavements in lack of adequate shelter and yet the most visible street children are actually invisible in our census and policy UNICEF has defined street children Street children are those for whom the street in the widest sense of the word i e unoccupied dwellings wastelands etc more than their family has become their real home a situation in which there is no protection supervision or direction from responsible adults The operational categories of street children given by UNICEF are 1 

Children on the Street Who have homes and mostly return to their families at the end of each day 2 Children of the Street These children have chosen the street as their home and it is there that they seek shelter livelihood and companionship They have occasional contacts with their families 3 Abandoned Children Children who have severed all ties with 1 According to study Making Street Children Count by TISS Tata Institute of Social Science And Involuntary Organization Action Aid in 2013 There are an estimated 37 059 children who live on the brutal streets of Mumbai According to this study there 65percent of children stayed with their families in temporary structure Out of this 61 percent were boys and 38 percent were girls Also one of the striking features which came out in this study is the 24 percent of school age going children were not literate Also at the same point vulnerability of street children is captured by the fact that two out of five street children have witnessed Physical Verbal or sexual 

Abuse or forced Starvation at some point of their lives According to Arokya Mary of voluntary organization YUVA Programmes like RTE or integrated child development scheme are meant to serve vulnerable children but there are no mechanisms in place to integrate street children Also after reading the study I felt that street children being so big population there is invisibility of them in Policy Making 2 According to Study Education For street and working Children by Indian National Commission in cooperation with UNESCO published in the year 2001 According to this study children on the streets cannot be ignored and their rights must be vigorously defended They need Education psychological support relationships and a role in society along with other basic issues related to their survival security and protection from a full range of civil rights such as food money shelter clothes healthcare education etc 

They have the right like all other children to live in dignity to health and education to protection from abuse exploitation violence and to voice their own feelings and sufferings Articles 2 and 3 of the U N Convention on the Rights of the Child According to the study the estimated population of Children was 242 11 million and the estimated out of school children is 72 63 million constituting 30 per cent of the child population in the age group 5 14 years According Prof Yash Pal Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Primary Education in 1993 states joyless learning as a major problem for push outs Both the teacher and the child have lost the sense of joy in being involved with the educational process Teaching and learning to the majority of our school going children are made to view at school as a boring even unpleasant and bitter experience They are daily socialized to look upon education as mainly a process of preparing for examinations no other motivation seems to have any legitimacy 

It is very important that school should adapt to the children s circumstances It is very important that for designing curriculum for street children it should be in alliance with school authorities NGO s parents Education Level of the Surveyed Street and Working Children Sr No Educational Status of Surveyed Children Percentage of Respondents 1 On the Street Category Illiterates Literates up to primary level Literates above primary level 68 27 5 2 Of the Street Category Illiterates Literates up to primary level Literates above primary level 46 36 18 The parents cited various reasons for not enrolling children in the formal schools It was found that the general perception of elementary education being free in the country was not accepted by most of the parents They stated that It may be free or nearly free in the restricted sense that admission fee in the governmental schools is negligible But other expenditures like books stationery and uniforms are borne by the parents This discourages parents from sending the children to schools especially when the quality of teaching is poor And also at the same time Street children often lack the support of their families Hence from a very young age they support themselves by working to earn an income This keeps them away from regular and structured education

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