Skip to main content

Decline in Union budget for eradicating child labour, encouraging girl child schemes

By Our Representative
A child rights civil society organization has regretted that though 37 per cent of the country’s population are children, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman finance minister, did not refer to children at all in her speech in Parliament. Worse, said the Haq Centre for Child Rights (HCCR), the share of budget for children (BfC) in the Union Budget “has not been increased.”
This has happened despite the fact that the “Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report 2019” ranked India 113th of 176 countries in the childhood index. The analysis had found in India about 38% of children under five are stunted, which is “the second-worst performance in the region, the worst being Pakistan (40.8%). China was the best with 6% stunted children, followed by Nepal (13.8%), Sri Lanka (17.3%), Bangladesh (17.4%) and Bhutan (19.1%).
Pointing out that “despite efforts at giving free universal education, about 20% of children (aged 8-16) were still out of school as of 2018”, the HCCR analysis titled “Children in the Trillion Dollar Economy”, said, “The share for children in this budget remains at 3.2 percent of the total Union Budget, which is less than the equally low share that the National Plan of Action for Children 2016 had recommended.”
The HCCR analysis said, “Over the years this commitment has got diluted and the percentage of child budget has been continuing going down after it was 5.71 per cent in 2008–09”, insisting, child budget should be “at least 5 per cent of the Union Budget”.
It added, “The share of all the sectors, except child protection has been falling over the years. This can be traced back to the 14th Finance Commission recommendations, which said that the responsibility for allocating for children now is largely with the states.”
The analysis further stated, “While there are some major cutbacks, the reduction in the budget for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) and Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is because of the creation of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan with an allocation of Rs 36,322 crore.”
Pointing out that this scheme is “meant to include teacher education”, the analysis said, “It has witnessed a total increase of Rs 5,109.49 crore, which is an increase of 16.4 per cent (calculated based on allocations for SSA, RMSA and teacher training last year)”, wondering, “Does that herald the right to compulsory education being extended to secondary education and 18 years?” 
BfC: Budget for Children. Int: Interim, FB: Full Budget
The analysis said, while the finance minister talked of “Naari tu Naarayani”, the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign has been allocated the same as the previous financial year – Rs 280 Crore. This has happened despite the fact that the Economic Survey 2018-19 recommended “incorporating insights from behavioural economics to change behaviour, giving credit to initiatives such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for improving child sex ratios, particularly in large states where the child sex ratio was poor.”
The survey had claimed that the campaign “had the maximum impact in states that plausibly also needed the greatest pivot in their social norms”, even though facts show otherwise: Niti Aayog’s latest data on sex-ratio at birth “suggests a decline in 18 out of the 21 states for which data is analysed”, the analysis asserted.
Continued the civil society analysis, “With a new law enacted to address child labour, one would have expected to see resources being placed to ensure that there is elimination of child labour. Instead it is depressing to see the cutback in allocations for the only programme in the country addressing child labour – the improvement in working conditions of child/women labour (NCLP or National Child Labour Project) has been reduced by over 16 per cent.” 
“NCLP is the only scheme focused on addressing child labour in the country. It is a central sector scheme where 100% of the funding is provided by the Government of India through the Ministry of Labour and Employment”, the analysis contended.
The analysis continued, though an online portal, PENCIL, was launched on September 26, 2017 “for better monitoring and reporting system to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the amended Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and the National Child Labour Project (NCLP)”, the cost of implementing PENCIL as per the 2016 annual budget norms is just Rs 30 lakh per district. 
“This amounts to Rs 84.98 crore for 319 districts under PENCIL, assuming that all 319 districts do not have a vehicle, otherwise the cost would further go up”, the analysis said, adding, “With the NCLP budget going down in 2019-20, it only reinforces lack of commitment to address the problem and assumes that children working in family enterprises require no monitoring.”
No doubt, said the analysis, some schemes do see “substantial increase.” Thus, “there is a 1,400 per cent increase for scheme for boys’ hostel from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and 107 per cent increase in budget for the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) is very welcome.”
However, the analysis added, “In all probability the cost of child protection has gone up over the years with the cost every other service escalating.”
Then, said the analysis, “While the budget for anganwadi Services has increased from Rs 16,334.88 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 19,834.37 crore in 2019-20, the target set for number of anganwadis sanctioned in 2019-20 remains the same. Despite a 21.4 per cent increase in the allocation for anganwadi services, the only expected output is operationalisation of an additional 20,000 anganwadis.”

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

World Bank proved right, Narmada is already a destructive project: Medha Patkar

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has said that the World Bank’s independent review mission, which brought out the Morse Commission report , has been proved right: The Sardar Sarovar dam has not only failed to live up to the loud promises made for irrigating large arid areas of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, those who were displaced and resettled in Gujarat are getting increasingly restive as many of them are unable to get the promised water for irrigation and some for drinking water too. While 50,000 families have been resettled in three states and 20,000 have received land rights as land or cash, the authorities have not calculated what should be done with 15,000 families, whose houses are acquired for Sardar Sarovar but following changing backwater levels of the Sardar Sarovar dam, they are denied rehabilitation, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part1*): *** Q: What is the latest position in your view as far as the Sardar Sarovar dam is concerned?

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is NIOH-ICMR 'official' making false claims on silicosis?: Health rights NGO

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, Dr Jagdish Parikh, trustee, health rights NGO People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, and Jagdish Patel, director, PTRC, have said that the claim being made for the use of biomarker for detection of silicosis raises concern about scientific tenacity of the diagnosis of the deadly occupational disease. The letter also objects to the reported claim by a top health official that it is possible to detect silicosis at the sub-radiological stage. It asks, “What is this subradiological stage of silicosis? We have not heard any such scientific term being used. Again, the report is using a term which is not found in any scientific literature so far. Is this term acceptable by ICMR? Is ICMR thinking of any explanation?” Text : This is with reference to our letter dated November 28, 2021. In our communication we had raised our concern about the scientific tena

Welfare? Govt of India spends just 19% of manual scavengers' rehabilitation budget

By Bharat Dogra*  While the Dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the Dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has been widely recognized leading to a ban on manual scavenging. At the same time there is urgent need for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging. Hence a self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging was drawn up. The allocations and the expenditure for this scheme for the last eight years are shown in the Table below: Union Budget for Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of  Manual Scavengers (in Rs crore) By Budget Estimate we mean the original allocation made when the budget is presented. It is clear from this table that the actual expenditure