ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Alternative Care for Children: A Case for Foster Care

Foster care is the temporary placement of a child with a foster family, which looks after the child for a limited period until the child goes into permanent adoption or back to their biological family. This article is based on in-depth interviews conducted with six foster mothers based in Mumbai. All of them have been working with an adoption and child welfare agency for more than six years, and have fostered more than eight children each. The article highlights their experiences of being a foster mother and in turn, aims to shed light on foster care as an alternative care system that needs to be encouraged.

Tales from a First-time Picture Book Author

A writer reflects on her experiences as the author of a children’s picture book, a genre that is often dismissed and misunderstood.

Child Undernutrition in India

The child undernutrition estimates from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey, 2016–18 reveal that many Indian states have made substantial decline, reversing their poor past record in wasting, ranging from 7 to 14 percentage points within just 30 months. Is it really possible to make such a large decline in such a short span of time? Or, does this point to an anomaly in data or estimation?

Silenced and Marginalised

An attempt has been made to demonstrate the linkages between the socio-economic-cultural marginalisation of children and their educational marginalisation. This is achieved through a thick description of the living and working conditions of the children, and the interplay between the factory, residence, school, market, family and other support systems, in order to gauge the social reality of these children.

Education of Children and Civil Strife in Chhattisgarh

This field study from Bijapur district of Bastar division, Chhattisgarh, ascertains the current status of participation of children from different social groups in elementary education and explores the specific factors caused by civil strife, based on interviews with and observations of children, parents, educational administrators and government functionaries.

Disabled Schoolchildren and Their Challenges

Disability, a socially defined global phenomenon, varies from state to state in India, and is based on gender and rural–urban backgrounds. A study conducted in Sipajhar block of Assam shows that physically and mentally challenged schoolchildren face severe discrimination. As the existing policies and programmes are insufficient to wipe out the stigma attached to their lives, we need widespread awareness programmes to give the persons with disabilities a dignified life and to include them in the mainstream development processes.

‘I’ll Have One Customised Baby, Please, Thank You’

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently granted a patent for a technology that would let prospective parents specify the traits of their offspring, from health risks to eye colour.

Coming Back to Normal?

An analysis of data from Censuses 2001 and 2011 shows that despite the increase in overall population sex ratio in this period, the 0-6 sex ratio and 0-1 sex ratio have continued to decline. This suggests that there is no let-up in daughter defi cit. However, one positive factor is that the north-western states which have had a long history of high levels of daughter defi cit have shown an increase in the 0-1 sex ratio. The reasons for this need to be determined. Another positive aspect is that daughter defi cit seems to be lower amongst the younger cohort of currently married women; it will be interesting to see whether this persists as the cohort ages.

Maternal and Child Health

The data from the Rapid Survey on Children conducted in 2013-14, released after an inexplicable delay and still in a summary fashion, show some but patchy progress between 2005-06 and 2013-14 in maternal and child health indicators. A preliminary analysis indicates that in those areas where special efforts were made, such as in increasing institutional delivery and expanding immunisation coverage, some results are seen. This calls for greater investments in health and nutrition within a more comprehensive approach.

Nutrition Programmes Face Fund Crunch

At a time, when there is widespread concern about the very high levels of child malnutrition in India, important nutrition programmes may be badly threatened due to budget cuts. The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi expressed this very serious apprehension on 19 October...

Children's Development

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme and maternity entitlements can play a crucial role in improving children's food and nutrition security. Both interventions are part of the National Food Security Act, though maternity entitlements have yet to be activated. Odisha has experimented with several creative policies, including initiating a maternity entitlements scheme in 2011 before the NFSA was enacted, introduction of eggs and decentralised procurement of take-home rations in the ICDS. This article, based on a field study of the two children's schemes in four districts in December 2014, reports how they perform and identifies areas for further action.

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