‘Count every child because every child counts' was the theme of the day as the State Government was handed over the Universal Birth Registration (UBR) project by Plan India, an organisation working for child development.

Speaking on the occasion to mark the successful completion of five years of the project here on Tuesday, K. Subha from the Institute of Social Sciences and the regional coordinator for the project said, “After Plan India's intervention in eight districts of Karnataka, the level of birth registration has reached approximately 94 per cent in the project areas and over 35 gram panchayats have achieved 100 per cent status in current birth registration levels as on March 2010.”

Benefits stressed

She added that since inception of the UBR programme in the State in 2006, there had been a steady growth in the level of birth registration by over 10 per cent every year. She said registering at birth gives an identity to the child and protection from age-related crimes.

R.G. Nadadur, Principal Secretary of the Education Department said birth registration need not be made mandatory as people should change their perception and instead come forward voluntarily.

Mr. Nadadur also said that in order to give a push to the concept, he would talk to officials in the Education and Health departments to see how they could help.

Adalat

Participating in an adalat consisting of anganwadi workers, nurses and midwives and people working in non-governmental organisations, H.E. Rajshekharappa, Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths said there are 2,400 registration centres in the State and 40 centres in the city.

He added that rural areas were lagging behind as the village accountants and tashildars were not playing an important role. He suggested that the Education Department include chapters on the subject to drive home the point. “It should be a joint effort of Government, NGOs and the people,” he said.