CRY has launched a campaign that urges political parties to give priority to children’s issues in their party manifestos.

As India gears up for its 16th General Elections, Child Rights and You (CRY), launched its nationwide “Vote for Child Rights” election advocacy campaign on November 14 , Children’s Day, in a bid to ensure that political parties and people in power put children first.

At the launch, CRY unveiled the Child Rights Manifesto that calls for all political parties to give top priority to children and to commit to improving the situation of children in our country. The manifesto is based on CRY’s in-depth analytical report “Status and Trends in Child Rights in India-An overview of the Past Decade” and the aspirations of children across 18 states of India.

The report comprises of views of development thinkers and practitioners in the Child Rights arena and provides a detailed analysis of India’s performance on key child rights indicators.

Speaking about the campaign, Puja Marwaha, CRY CEO, said “the Vote for Child Rights campaign is our way of ensuring that there is political will behind our justified demand to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights. It is imperative that the best interest of the child be put at the centre of all policy, legislation and practice and the Vote for Child Rights campaign focuses on that solely”.

The Child Rights Manifesto created by CRY centres around 10 commitment suggestions, some of which include: harmonising the age definition for all child-related legislations; ensuring the implementation and expansion of the scope of the Right to Education Act; strengthening the implementation of ICDS; reducing child mortality; declaring access to quality primary healthcare as a fundamental right.

CRY has approached and is in the process of approaching key politicians of all major political parties with an appeal to give priority to children’s issues in their respective party manifestos.

Current status of children

  • Every sixth child in the world lives in India (MoSPI*, 2012)

  • Every second child in India is malnourished (NFHS**-III, 2005-06)

  • 79% children (6-35 months) are anaemic (NFHS-III)

  • 7 out of every 1000 live births do not complete their first year of life (SRS^, 2011)

  • The child sex ratio is at the lowest it has ever been with just 914 girls for every 1000 boys (Census, 2011)

  • National Dropout Rate at the Elementary Level is over 40% (DISE^^, 2011-12)

  • 11.8% children in India are engaged in some form of child labour (NFHS-III)

  • *Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

    **National Family Health Survey

    ^Sample Registration System

    ^^District Information System for Education

    How is Maharashtra faring?

  • Of children under three years 40% are underweight, 38% are stunted and 15% are wasted (NFHS-III)

  • Nearly two-thirds of children in Maharashtra are anemic, with over 40% having moderate or severe anemia

  • In 2008, Maharashtra was 10th out of 17 states (having a score of 22.8) for which the comparable Indian State Hunger Index was calculated and was on par with less developed Orissa (23.8)

  • The child sex ration in Maharashtra is 883 girls for every 1000 boys (Census, 2011)

  • Percentage of child workers in Maharashtra state is 3.5% which is lower than the national average (5%)