Skip to main content

India's adolescent motherhood causes $7.7 billion loss to economy, country ranks 116 in childhood index: Report

By Our Representative
A recent report by Save the Children has ranked India 116th in the End of Childhood Index, worse than the other four BRICS countries. Ranking Brazil 89th, Russia 37th, China 41st and South Africa 103rd, the report, titled “Stolen Childhoods", says that India would gain a whopping 7.7 billion dollars if adolescent girls wait until their early 20s to become mothers, and  are gainfully employed.
Ranking 172 countries and using indicators such as under-5 mortality, malnutrition that stunts growth, out-of-school children, child labour, early marriage, adolescent births, displacement by conflict and child homicide, the report by the top international NGO says that India’s “adolescent birth rate” is 23.3 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19.
Pointing out that 21.1% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are married in India, the report says,other factors which retard the country’s international ranking include factors like under-5 mortality rate of 47.7 (deaths per 1,000 live births), child stunting rate of 38.7% children aged 0-59 months, out-of-school children of primary and secondary school age (18.6%), and children engaged in child labour (11.8% ages 5-14).
According to the report, “Half of all adolescent births occur in just seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and the United States.”
It adds, “The End of Childhood Index shows how the contexts of these births differ. The link between early marriage and early motherhood is strong in Asia and parts of Africa, but having a child outside of marriage is not uncommon in many high-income or Latin American and Caribbean countries.”

India's ranking in childhood index
The only consolation for India is, two major Indian neighbours rank worse than India in the End of Children index – Pakistan Pakistan 148th and Bangladesh 134th, though Sri Lanka ranks far better than India (61st).
Pointing out that stunting is “caused by, and contributes to, vicious intergenerational cycles of poverty”, the report regrets, India has the highest number of stunted children in the world – 48.2 million out of 156 million worldwide.
In percentage terms, the report says, India’s nearly 39% stunted children is better than Pakistan (45%) but worse than Bangladesh (38%). Providing a comparison, the report adds, in Kenya, 26 percent of children are stunted, in Uganda 34 percent, in Malawi 37 percent, and in Yemen 47 percent.
“Mothers who are undernourished are more likely to have undernourished children”, the report says, adding “Stunted children often perform poorly in school and have fewer professional opportunities later in life, so they earn less, and perpetuate poverty in their families. Low income, lack of health care and reduced access to proper nutrition will continue to impact their children.”
In the End of Childhood Index, Norway, Slovenia and Finland top the rankings. The United States ranks 36th. Niger ranks last among the countries surveyed. The 10 bottom-ranked countries – seven from West and Central Africa – are a reverse image of the top, performing poorly on most indicators. “Children in these countries are the least likely to fully experience childhood, a time that should be dedicated to emotional, social and physical development, as well as play”, the report states.
---
Click HERE to download report

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.