Importance of Child Rights in the present Electronic Environment
Dr.A.Dharini, Librarian, Visakha govt. degree college for women, visakhapatnam-530020, andhra Pradesh
Dr.K.Geetanjali, lecturer in economics,Visakha govt. degree college for women, visakhapatnam-530020, andhra Pradesh
The globe is a place of numerous happenings. Earth is the home for a number of species and from which one is a human being and their children. At this moment some of these children might be playing, enjoying and many will be celebrating. The other side some of them might be working, begging or struggling for their basic rights due to poverty and illiteracy. The present paper describes the basic needs of child rights namely need for education, need for shelter, need for food. It also stress on the importance of child rights in the present digital environment for a meaningful childhood irrespective of his gender, caste, class, religion. Each and every child should have equal, opportunity to grow as a human being in the best way and grip all the basic facilities as the other privileged children do. They have the right to survive, develop be protected and participate in decisions that impact their lives.
Key Words: Child Rights, Digital Environment, Childhood, Declaration of the rights of the child.
The old saying that “Child is the father of a man” is true in more than one sense. Children are an end and a means of progress. It is a high time to attend to the needs of children not as a mere by product of progress but as a end and means of progress itself. Children are backbone of a nation. The term child is derived etymologically from the Latin infans which means ‘the one who does not speak’. For the Roman, this term designates the child from its birth up to the age of 7 years.
According to the International Save the Children Union held at Geneva on 23 February, 1923 stated that “The child must be given the means the requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually. The child that is hungry must be fed the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succoured. The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress. The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation. The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men”.
Millions of children have no access to education, work for long hours under hazardous conditions and are forced to serve as solders in armed conflict. Some suffer as targeted attacks from corporal punishments. In many cases they are abused. On the other hand Child neglect (also called psychological abuse) is commonly defined as a failure by a child’s caretaker to meet a child’s physical, emotional, educational, or medical needs. Forms of child neglect include: Allowing the child to witness violence or severe abuse between parents or adult, ignoring, insulting, or threatening the child with violence, not providing the child with a safe environment and adult emotional support, and showing reckless disregard for the child’s well-being. There are no specific guidelines that determine when a child is being neglected; therefore, it is up to state government agencies and professional groups to determine what is considered neglect. In general, child neglect is considered the failure of parents or caregivers to meet the needs that are necessary for the mental, physical, and emotional development of a child. Child neglect is one of the most common forms of child maltreatment, and it continues to be a serious problem for many children. Child neglect tremendously affects the physical development, mental development, and emotional development of a child causing long term consequences, such as poor academic achievement, depression (mood), and character disorders. These consequences also impact society, since it is more likely that children who suffered from child neglect will have drug abuse problems and educational failure when they grow up.
Child Rights is a political tool that is used to reduce child poverty and improve child health and child survival. Eliminating child poverty is the key to improve child survival in the long run. There is a need to focus on early childhood, development, immunization, protecting children from abuse, exploitation and health needs of the child. A right strategy will increase rights of the child and reduce child poverty. It is important to note that children are individuals who start their life as totally dependent beings. The actions and inactions of the government have impact more strongly on this children group rather than on any other group. Children’s views should be heard and considered. The healthy development of children is crucial to the future well-being of any society
1.1The five core principles of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child
• The right to life, survival and development.
• Non Discrimination.
• Devotion to the best interest of the child.
• Respect the views of the child.
• The right to an adequate standard of living and social security.
1.2 Children’s Rights as Human Rights
Children’s rights are human rights. They protect the child as a human being. As human rights, children’s rights are constituted by fundamental guarantees and essential human rights:
• Children’s rights recognize fundamental guarantees to all human beings: the right to life, the non-discrimination principle, the right to dignity through the protection of physical and mental integrity (protection against slavery, torture and bad treatments, etc.)
• Children’s rights are civil and political rights, such as the right to identity, the right to a nationality, etc.
• Children’s rights are economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to education, the right to a decent standard of living, the right to health, etc.
• Children’s rights include individual rights: the right to live with his parents, the right to education, the right to benefit from a protection, etc.
• Children’s rights include collective rights: rights of refugee and disabled children, of minority children groups.
1.3 Children’s Right to Survival:
• Right to be born
• Right to minimum standards of food, shelter and clothing
• Right to live with dignity
• Right to health care, to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay healthy
1.4 Children’s Right to Protection:
• Right to be protected from all sorts of violence
• Right to be protected from neglect
• Right to be protected from physical and sexual abuse
• Right to be protected from dangerous drugs
1.5 Children’s Right to Participation:
• Right to freedom of opinion
• Right to freedom of expression
• Right to freedom of association
• Right to information
• Right to participate in any decision making that involves him/her directly or indirectly
1.6 Children’s Right to Development:
• Right to education
• Right to learn
• Right to relax and play
• Right to all forms of development – emotional, mental and physical.
2 Central and State Government Sponsored Girl Child Schemes in India.
2.1 Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a central government scheme for girl child schemes which is applicable throughout the country. The key objective of this scheme is to save the girl child from social ills such as gender-biased abortions and advance the education of girl children all over the country. This scheme was initially targeted at districts that were recognized to have low sex ratio i.e. fewer women children as compared to male children but was later expanded to include other parts of the country as well. This is primarily an education-based initiative to help change social attitudes and does not involve direct cash transfer.
2.2 Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a special government-backed savings scheme that features a girl child as the primary account holder while the parent/legal guardian is a joint holder of the account. This account can be opened before the girl child is 10 years old and contributions need to be made for 15 years after opening the account.
The following are some of the key features and benefits of investments made into a Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account:
• Flexible deposit option with an initial deposit as low as Rs. 1000 up to Rs. 1.5 lakh annually.
• A high fixed rate of return currently 8.5% as of Q4 FY 2018-19.
• Tax deduction benefit under section 80C of the IT Act 1961.
• Completely tax-exempt investments as the principal invested, maturity amount and interest earned are all exempt.
• Partial withdrawal option is available for the higher education of girl child.
• Can be availed across India at any PSU bank, India Post Office and at select private sector banks.
• Long term investment as investments can be made for 15 years after opening the account.
2.3 Balika Samriddhi Yojana
The Balika Samriddhi Yojana is a scholarship scheme designed to provide financial support to young girls and their mothers who are below the poverty line. The key objective of the scheme is to improve their status in society, increase the marriageable age of girls and improve the enrolment as well as retention of girls in schools.
Features and benefits of the Balika Samriddhi Yojana
• This girl child benefit scheme is available in both urban as well as rural areas.
• Cash benefit of Rs. 500 provided to mother of girl child after the birth of a newborn.
• When attending school, a girl child can get an annual scholarship from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 till 10th
• Withdrawal facility of balance amount available after the girl child turns 18 years old and is still unmarried.
2.4 CBSE Udaan Scheme
The CBSE Udaan scheme for girls is administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education through the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The focus of this scheme is to increase the enrolment of girls in prestigious engineering and technical colleges across India.
The scheme includes efforts that are made in order to enrich the learning experience with special focus of girl students who are from the economically backward sections of society.
The following are the key features of the CBSE Udaan Scheme:
• The free course material/online resources such as video study material for girl students in 11th and 12th standard
• Virtual contact classes on weekends for girl students in 11th and 12th
• Peer learning and mentoring opportunities for meritorious girl students.
• Study helpline services to clarify the doubts of students.
• Constant monitoring and tracking of students’ progress.
The following are key eligibility criteria for enrolment in the Udaan Scheme:
• Girl students who are Indian citizens residing in India.
• Girl student must be enrolled in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics stream in class 11th and 12th studying in CBSE affiliated schools.
• Annual family income of student must not exceed Rs. 6 lakh annually.
• Merit-based selection subject to specific criteria.
2.5 National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education
The National Scheme of Incentive to girls for secondary education scheme is a pan India scheme managed by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. It is primarily for the benefit of girls belonging to the backward classes of India.
Eligibility National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education
• All SC/ST girls who have passed class 8 examination, girl students from other social classes are also eligible if they have passed class 8 exam from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.
• Girls eligible for the scheme also need to be aged less than 16 years.
• Girl students who are married or are enrolled in various central government schemes such as CBS, NVS, and KVS are not eligible for this scheme.
How does the National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education work?
Once an eligible girl student has been selected, Rs. 3000 is deposited as a fixed deposit on her behalf. This amount can be withdrawn with interest after the girl student passes the class 10th exam and completes the age of 18 years.
2.6 Dhanalakshmi Scheme
The Dhanalakshmi Scheme was launched as a pilot project launched by the central government in March 2008 for providing conditional cash incentives to low income families with girl children. However, as a result of more attractive schemes introduced by the government over the years, Dhanalakshmi scheme is now done away with.
The following were the key states where the Dhanalakshmi Scheme pilot project was implemented:
• Andhra Pradesh
• Uttar Pradesh
The pilot project of this girl child welfare scheme was run in specific blocks of the above states which were selected on the basis of their lower than average girl child sex ratio (as compared to rest of India). The primary goal of providing cash incentives under this scheme was to promote education and improve the well-being of the girl child especially those belonging to economically and educationally backward classes.
Cash Incentives offered under the Dhanalakshmi Scheme
The Dhanalakshmi girl child welfare scheme provided staggered direct cash benefits to girl child from the time of birth till completion of secondary education in Class 8. The following is a scheme of the cash incentives that were offered under the Dhanalakshmi yojana:
Girl Child Life Event Cash Transfer for each Girl Child
Birth and Birth Registration Rs. 5000
Immunization after 6 weeks Rs. 200
Immunization after 14 weeks Rs. 200
Immunization after 9 months Rs. 200
Immunization after 16 months Rs. 200
Immunization after 24 months Rs. 200
After completion of immunization Rs. 250
On enrolment in Primary School Rs. 1000
On passing Class 1 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 500
On passing Class 2 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 500
On passing Class 3 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 500
On passing Class 4 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 500
On passing Class 5 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 500
After enrolment in Secondary School Rs. 1500
On passing Class 6 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 750
On passing Class 7 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 750
On passing Class 8 with at least 85% attendance Rs. 750
The scheme was discontinued in April 2013 as various state-specific girl child welfare schemes had already come into effect by that time.
3. State Government Girl Child Schemes
In addition to central government schemes, every state in India also has its own scheme for girl child welfare. The following are some of the most well-known state-wise girl child schemes in India:
3.1 Ladli Scheme of Haryana
Ladli Scheme of Haryana is sponsored by the Haryana government to enhance the status of the girl child in society. The scheme is additionally focused on ensuring that mindset of society and attitude towards the girl child is changed such that social ills including female foeticide are eliminated. The scheme was introduced by the Haryana State Government on 20th August 2015. This is a cash incentive scheme that provides a payout of Rs. 5000 annually for a period of 5 years to families with a second girl child born on the after 20th August 2015. This money is deposited in a Kisan Vikas Patra jointly in the name of the 2nd girl child and the mother/father/legal guardian. These deposits along with interest will be released after the 2nd girl child is 18 years old.
3.2 Ladli Laxmi Yojana of Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh Ladli Laxmi Yojana is a government of Maharashtra-sponsored girl child scheme that seeks to improve the status of girl children and women in the state. The plan was introduced in 2006 and aims to prevent social ills such as child marriage and female foeticide. Subsequent to approval of beneficiary, Rs. 6000 worth of National Saving Certificates will be purchased every year for the first 5 years in the name of the beneficiary. Out of this investment, Rs. 2000 will be invested after the girl child is admitted in 6th class and subsequently Rs. 4000 will be invested in the admission of a girl in 9th class. The family must be resident of Madhya Pradesh and must not have taxable income. After the birth of a second child, the family needs to adopt family planning and first girl child must be born after 1st April 2008. The beneficiary must attend the Aganwadi regularly.
3.3 Karnataka Bhagyashree Scheme
Bhagyashree Scheme is a Karnataka government scheme designed to promote the birth of girl child among families below the poverty line. The financial assistance to the girl child is provided some key criteria have been met. The girl child receives health insurance cover up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000 annually. The girl child receives an annual scholarship of Rs. 300 to Rs. 1000 up to class 10th.
Eligibility for the Bhagyashree Scheme
• Girl children of the BPL family are eligible to take this benefit provided they were born after 31st March 2006.
• Enrolment is allowed up to 1 year after the birth of the child and a maximum of two children can be covered under this scheme.
• Additional financial benefits are also available to the beneficiary provided certain criteria are met.
3.4 Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme from Government of Maharashtra
The Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme is a Government of Maharashtra promoted scheme that is designed to help improve the condition of girl child among the BPL and other weaker sections of society. The girl child’s mother receives Rs. 5000 every year for the first 5 years after the birth of the girl child. Subsequently, financial aid of Rs. 2500 per year is provided till the girl child is enrolled in 5th class. After this, the financial aid is increased to Rs. 3000 per year till the girl child is enrolled in class 12. Once she attains the age of 18 years, she will receive Rs. 1 lakh annually for her education. Further payouts may be available to the girl child for further studies.
3.5 West Bengal Kanyashree Prakalpa
The Kanyashree Prakalpa of West Bengal is a state initiative for girl child schemes designed to improve the status as well as the well-being of girls especially those from weaker socio-economic classes. This scheme is implemented by the Department of Women Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal in the form of conditional cash transfers. The Kanyashree scholarship is Rs. 750 annually for girls between the age of 13 and 18 years along with a one-time grant of Rs. 25,000 for girls between the ages of 18 and 19 years.
Eligibility Criteria for the Kanyashree Prakalpa
A girl student is eligible for benefits under the Kanyashree Prakalpa subject to the following criteria:
• The beneficiary must be resident of West Bengal and have a bank account in her name
• The girl child must be enrolled in an educational institution and unmarried
• The maximum annual income of the girl’s family must be Rs. 1.2 lakh annually.
The child’s physical and moral health is developed as physical development and behavioural (moral) development of physical and moral capacities. The child’s emotional health is developed as intellectual development for the capacity to reason based on those understandings when making decisions and social development as the competencies to enter into social relationships both personal and business. A child is a person, not an object of concern who simply lacks the capacity to give consent on her own behalf. Children and young people have the same general human rights as adults and also specific rights that recognize their special needs. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights.
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