[Answered] Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation.


In pursuance of the constitutional objective and UN convention on Child Rights, the Govt. launched National Child policy, in 2013, reaffirming children as an important national asset and through ‘right based’ approach policy proposes to provide long term, sustainable, multi-sectoral, integrated and inclusive approach for the overall and harmonious development and protection of children.
Area Provision Implementation
Survival, Health and Nutrition
• It states the right to life, survival, health and nutrition (safeguarded against hunger, deprivation and malnutrition) is an inalienable right of every childand will receive the highest priority.
• It also recognises the needs of the differently abled, the girl child and HIV-affected children

• Schemes: JanniSurakshaYojana, India New Born Action Plan 2014, National Deworming initiative etc.
• The infant mortality rate remains as high as 40. As per the Global Hunger Index, India’s hunger levels are ranked as “serious” with around 40% of children stunted. Though the levels of stunting has declined as per NFHS, the numbers still are appalling.

Education and development:
• Every child has equal right to learning, knowledge and education, with due regard for special needs, through access, provision and promotion of required environment, information, infrastructure, services and supports, towards the development of the child’s fullest potential.
• Initiatives: RTE; Padhe Bharat, Bade bharat; Betibachao, betipadhao; Mid day meal scheme etc.
• Though RTE has ensured near 100% gross enrollment ratio; ideal pupil-teacher ratio of the RTE Act is yet to be reached. However, the ASER report portrays the dismal state of learning among children.

Protection:
• It recognizes the child rights to be protected wherever they are.
• The State shall create a caring,protective and safe environment for all children” • Initiatives: E-POCSO Box for complaint against sexual harassment of children etc.
• Child labour and trafficking are still high

Participation:
• The state should provide an enabling environment, opportunities and support to develop skills, to form aspirations and express their views in accordance with their age, level of maturity and evolving capacities
• Established National/State Coordination and Action Groups to ensure field level implementation of child related schemes
• Awareness about child rights is still low and even child labour has gone unchecked at places.

Others

• The policy talks of Coordination among various programes, and monitoring.
• Capacity building and resource allocation • Social audit and Community Score Card being used as tools to monitor effective implementation of the policy.
• Child Budgeting in order to ensure budgetary accountability on commitments made for children.

Overall,

NPC 2013 has promised a lot for children’s survival, protection, education and health. But recognizing various gaps, legislations like the Child Labour (amendment) Act, Juvenile Justice Bill etc have been passed. The recent Draft National Action Plan for Children 2016 aims provides a roadmap that links the Policy objectives to actionable strategies and is a welcome step in realizing the objectives of the policy.

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