'Every Last Child’ is Save the Children's campaign to reach two million ‘invisible’ children in India
It shall also ensure that 500,000 street children
in India access vital health, education and protection services
On April 26, Save the Children India, along with 80 global locations has launched Every Last Child
. This marks a historic moment in Indian and World History. Every Last Child focuses on removing injustice against children in India and across the globe through aggressive advocacy and fundraising & programme work in the most deprived and vulnerable communities.
The campaign has clear goals and objectives globally and in India:
1. Fair Chance for all children
2. Equal Treatment to all children
3. Accountability to Children
1. Removal of Socio economic inequality among children
- Lack of education infrastructure, school attendance percentage, poor teacher to student ratio, poor teacher training, lack of teachers in rural parts of India
- Lack of awareness and education amongst parents and communities, especially the rural, poor and urban poor
- Poor hygiene, lack of proper toilets, healthcare awareness & facilities in rural parts of India
- Impact of religious beliefs, social structures & norms that discriminate one caste from the other and thereby one human being from another
- High infant mortality, malnutrition, high incidence of diarrhoeal deaths
2. Rescue of vulnerable and deprived children on Indian streets
- Inflow of people and children from rural India and poor infrastructure in Urban India to support this inflow
- Low birth registration rates, illiteracy amongst parents of children living on streets
- Poor enrolment of street children into schools and poor implementation of child support subsidies and policies of Government
- Numbness of urban India towards street children
Social structures and caste discrimination resulting in social evils such as children working as domestic help, other forms of child labour, child illiteracy, and child abuse
3. Remove Girl child discrimination
- Social beliefs that discriminate girl child from male child in rural and urban India, more prevalent in rural India and urban poor
- Lower literacy percentage of girl child, lower school attendance
- Child marriage and high number of under 18 mothers in India
- Inadequate healthcare and protection for female child
Lack of opportunities, which is due to lack of education, healthcare and protection for children is India’s biggest challenge Educated children who grow up to be responsible and self-sufficient adults make good citizens and the whole nation prospers.
Save the Children shall be introducing new programmes, strengthening current programmes and shall be aggressive in its approach to raise required funds from India and abroad. The campaign shall have key moments from its launch to April 2018 and further till 2030.
Some key milestones identified
Millions of ‘invisible’ children living in slums and on the streets are not registered at birth and do not have identity documents, excluding them from accessing vital services. Save the Children is calling for immediate action to ensure that all children are registered and given access to the critical health, protection and education services they need. These services are especially vital to street children who are among the most at risk of abuse, exploitation and neglect.
“India and the world have seen enormous gains for children over the last decade,” said Harpal Singh, Chair of Save the Children in India adding, “But not every child has benefited. In fact, millions of children have been completely left behind, and are still living in extreme poverty, their life chances blighted. With the government promoting the concept of Smart Cities, an urban revolution can be expected to take place in India. Along with the leaps in technology, it will be imperative to ensure that our urban landscape, new and old, is child-friendly.”
Save the Children calls upon the government to issue identity proofs to all the street children in India and provide basic healthcare, education and protection amenities to them.
The campaign draws on the findings of a DFID-supported research report on street children in India, which includes research from five cities and reveals the severe hardship and risks faced by India’s street children. The findings reveal that over a quarter, 26%, of street children are under six years of age and that non metro cities had the highest percentage of homeless children, with 1.3% in Patna and Mughalsarai against 0.4% in Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Helle Thorning–Schmidt, Save the Children International's CEO (ex-Prime Minister of Denmark), who joined Save the Children India at the launch of the campaign, emphasized Save the Children’s commitment to reaching the world’s most excluded children and said, “Since India has the highest number of children in the world, improvement in their lives will have a huge impact for the entire world.”
Outcomes for poor children in urban settings are significantly lower than for higher-income families: a poor child is almost one and half times more likely to die in his/her first month compared to a child born to a higher-income family. 63% of street children were found to be illiterate.
The new research also shows that 85% of street children live with an adult caregiver. The majority had come from poor rural areas only to find themselves homeless in the cities. Evidence suggests that the poor in India are increasingly marginalised as the gap between the richest and the poorest has widened dramatically.
Every Last Child is a three-year campaign calling on decision makers at the household, local, national and international levels to ensure barriers that prevent the poorest children from accessing life-saving services are eliminated.
The organisation also calls on world leaders to commit to three basic guarantees. These include:
How you can help?
- Fair financing – so that essential services are available to even the poorest households;
- Equal treatment and access to services for all children
- Decision makers to be held accountable for ensuring that every attempt is made to reach every last child’s needs.
We urge supporters to donate and/or associate with the campaign. Any amount donated is tax exempted under section 80Gof Income Tax Act, 1961 and will go into funding the programmes and objectives of Every Last Child
You can make a one-time donation or commit to a monthly donation.
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