If the latest report on status of children by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is any indication,then the fate of children in India is grim. While child sex-ratios have dipped and child labour continues to be a problem,the report states that crime against children have scaled up with no end in sight to the plight of girl child.
The report,Children in India 2012 – A Statistical Appraisal,says that in 2011,crimes against children reported a 24 per cent increase from 2010,with UP taking the lead (16.6 per cent). It is followed by Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. UP and Delhi accounted for 47 per cent of the total kidnapping cases and MP,UP and Maharashtra together accounted for 44.5 per cent of child rape cases reported in 2011.
The study points to a dip in the share of children in the total population and notes that it is sharper in the case of female child. It notes that while the overall sex-ratio is improving,the child sex-ratio is showing a reverse trend. In the period 1991-2011,child sex-ratio declined from 945 to 914,whereas the overall sex-ratio climbed up to 940 from 927, the report notes.
In the Census 2011,Haryana (830),Punjab (846),Jammu & Kashmir (859),Delhi (866) and Chandigarh (867) had the lowest child sex-ratios. The report,which has compared the various child welfare indicators in terms of north vs south,rural vs urban,Northeast vs rest of India,states that with the exception of Himachal Pradesh,no state in north India now has a child sex-ratio above 900,with J&K seeing the steepest drop in numbers. It also lauds the Northeastern states for its high child sex-ratio with Mizoram and Meghalaya (970) taking the lead.
A look at another vital indicator,sex-ratio at birth,which measures the number of live female births to 1,000 male births, points to the prevalent female foeticide in Punjab (832),which is closely followed by Harayana (848). The reports has found that Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest share of child labour (15.22 per cent) followed by Andhra Pradesh.
The rising incidents of juvenile crimes too is becoming a worry. The highest number of juvenile delinquency cases was reported from Tamil Nadu (672),which accounted for 23.7 per cent of total juvenile crimes.
Four years ago the ministry had released a similar report on status of children.