Healthcare a Distant Dream for Orphans
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06 August 2010
By Nirmala M Nagaraj
They Also Face Discrimination In School, Society
The mismatch couldn’t have been more stark. There are about 50,666 orphan children in nine taluks across seven districts in North Karnataka. And the provision for child protection for the country? Just 0.035% of the total Union budget.
A recent study by the NGO EveryChild reveals that 40% of orphans in these taluks are below 6 years and 50% are below 14 and 6,668 children have single parents in devadasi mothers.
Most of these children without parental care are from two blocks of Bagalkot district – Badami (8,401) and Mudhol (7,017).
IMPACT ON CHILDREN
Not surprisingly, these children lack nutrition and access to healthcare and they are more prone to HIV/AIDS and are victims of discrimination in school and community. Most are school dropouts and exploited as child labourers. School dropouts are more when children live with relatives as compared to those living with grandparents. Most vulnerable are girls since they are vulnerable to trafficking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys are victims of sexual abuse. The 2010 report, ‘Protect for the Future’, by nine UK–based international NGOs, including EveryChild, confirms that most countries have failed to provide proper care and protection to children.
According to the EveryChild report, there are 24 million children around the world without parental care and 34% of children don’t live with their parents. There is an increase in orphans with rapidly increasing factors like HIV/AIDS and global recession.
Children who have lost both parents are 12% less likely to be in school than other children and since 30% of children in most countries are without parental care form a major barrier to education.
This loss of parental care has further enhanced the risk of poverty and hunger in developing countries like India. Due to lack of policy level and legal framework for protection of children, social protection schemes have failed to reach children not in conventional households, such as those living on streets in migrant families and in child–only households are often excluded from social protection schemes.
UN guidelines UN guidelines for alternative care of children highlights the rights relating to their care and the need to keep families together and to avoid harmful residential care