As the years stack up, the struggle grows stronger; 2013 and its incessant calls for change are testament to this fact. Yet even as crowds turned out in droves to demand justice and public empathy/ media activism on children’s issues increases India continues to witness significant child protection violations everyday. Under no circumstances should this ever be acceptable but for a country that shelters the largest number of children in the world, this is a veritable state of emergency. We subscribe to the belief that honest chronicling of the calamities that rocked the Indian child this year may not incite immediate change but it might just force us to open our eyes.
From repeated disasters, conflict to the debate on the age of juvenility, Leher takes a look back at those very instances where our children were sacrificed for the lack of a protective system; even as one year rolls into the next.
The Phailin effect
Children evacuated from their villages In Berhampur are taken to shelters during Cyclone Phailin
In one of the largest emergency evacuations in India, at least 6 million children were affected. Not just by the loss of their families and homes, but also the loss of a carefree childhood. How long shall children bare the brunt of environmental neglect?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1dTWTCX
Our Girls, Strewn Aside?
Dongria Kondh children, a tribe affected by the Vedanta mines, swing from a tree in Niyamgiri, Orissa
Vedanta’s mining operations have displaced and poisoned thousands of families. Their activities have deprived hundreds of girls of their families and basic security. Yet, they launched ‘Our girls, our pride’ a campaign in the name of corporate social responsibility. Campaign after campaign, how much have we achieved in nurturing our girls?
Read more: http://bbc.in/1ereoWc
Children a blind spot?
A child plays on the dias, soon to be a stage for the aam aadmi party hunger strike
Even as the country eagerly awaits a radical change in the political ecology of India, the attitude towards the protection of children remains a stone unturned. Mustn’t the sheer number of children make them a priority on political manifestos?
Read more: http://bit.ly/19YEmik
Çhildren in conflict
Feroze breaks down after hearing his parents talk about his younger brother who died in the Muzzafarnagar camp
Child refugees in relief camps at Muzzafarnagar succumbed to the harsh winter. Each and every day, one child continues to lose his life or is simply left bereft of his basic rights. When will the state step up to protect its children?
Read more: http://uni.cf/MiQfLg
How safe is the school bus?
A school bus falls into a pond as the driver loses control in Andhra Pradesh
41% of child deaths in India are due to lack of road transportation safety – the highest in the world. With over 700 reported school bus accidents in India, states like Maharashtra have adopted the school bus policy for the safety of their children. Why then are most of the other states still unequipped with similar progressive policies?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1fbcQmR
“The saint and his taint”
Women and children stage a protest against the godman Asaram Bapu
When a teenage girl accused religious leader Asaram Bapu of rape, it was not for the first time the 72 year old godman had courted controversy. Will political clout of religious leaders silence the justice system for children?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1fpJDmy
A million bellies to fill
Poor children have their first meal in 3 days
India has the notorious reputation of being the world’s hunger capital. One third of India’s children under five suffer from malnutrition, and thousands die each year as a result of the condition…The only silver lining is the country’s recently introduced Food security Act, 2013, but will it truly make the difference that our children need to see?
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/JD0B6Q
Unclaimed children of disaster
A mother carries her child to rescue after the cloudburst in Uttarakhand
More than 1,200 children went missing, 250,000 were out of school, and an unknown number of orphans remain vulnerable to trafficking and other trauma. The Uttarakhand floods sounded an alarm bell. For how long will children be denied access to emergency services in a country unequipped for disaster?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1e2hmpb
Malice of the Mid-day meal
Distraught parents cry at the loss of their children after consuming the mid-day meal in a school in Bihar
22 innocent children lost their lives due to flaws in one of India’s most ambitious schemes— a feeding program that reaches 120 million children in schools. Who is to blame for the poor implementation of schemes available to children?
Read more: http://bit.ly/1cvlRFy
India’s young prison population
A young protester sits in front of a banner during a protest against the Delhi gang rape
Post the horrific case of gang rape in Delhi many ask a pertinent question—should children who commit serious crimes be tried as adults? Reducing the age of a juvenile in India would potentially impinge on the lives of thousands of children. The state cannot take away childhood before it creates a protective system for its children.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1iI3q5j
Lost and never found
A distressed child yells for help amongst the crowds at the Kumbh Mela
The child featured above represents a stunning epidemic of missing children in India. Every year, 60,000 children are reported missing and as many as 22,000 are never found which forces us to beg the ubiquitous question—where do all our children go?
Read more: http://bit.ly/M2zJ1O
India shamed. Again.
School children in Jammu hold a candle-light for Guddiya
The rise in cases reported on child sexual abuse reflects only the tip of the iceberg that exists beneath society’s cold, murky waters. How many more children will be abused before a justice system is put into action?
Read more: http://bit.ly/KspYbH
Protectors turn predators
After the tragic death of Arushi Talwar numerous candle marches were organized in Delhi
In one of India’s most highly controversial legal battles, the parents of Aarushi Talwar, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, have been found guilty of murdering her and their domestic helper. Is family really the safest place for children, if not, is there anyone left to protect our children?
Read more: http://aje.me/1cSVRTf