Just 0.04% of government spending goes towards child protection

By Pearl H Mohankumar | ENS – CHENNAI

Published: 14th November 2013 07:33 AM

Last Updated: 14th November 2013 07:33 AM

Of every 100 rupees spent by the Union Government, only 4 paise is allocated for child protection, according to a status report on Child Rights in India.

“While the share of child health is 16 paise followed by child development (Rs 1.10 paise) and education (Rs 3.34 paise), child protection has consistently received the least attention”, the report said.

The report, which was released by Child Rights and You (CRY), an NGO working for child development stated that the neglect of vulnerable children in policy and financial statements was apparent since child protection had always been the least attended sector and continues to be so.

Allocation made for child protection was clearly negligible when compared to the number of children falling out of the safety and protection net.

 In the Sub-Group Report on Child Protection for the Eleventh Plan, it was acknowledged that poor investment on child protection was a reflection of the low priority the sector received in government planning and implementation.

The National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) received a budgetary allocation hike of only

`1 crore as against the `12 crore announced in 2012 – 2013, and the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) saw a 25 per cent drop in budget allocation from `400 crore in 2012-13 to `300 crore in 2013-14.

With such a miniscule child protection budget which comprised less than 1/200th of the Union budget, very little would be achieved in terms of building a protective environment for India’s children, said the study, which analysed the budget for children since 2000.

The report further stated that, the absence of a protective environment for children could have serious consequences and the effects of child malnutrition could appear in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, and affect various aspects of an individual’s development including physical, cognitive, psychological and behavioural development. Children who lack adequate care and protection were more likely to drop out of school, engage in juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, drug abuse and violent behavior, said the report.

In 1966, the Kothari Commission had recommended investment of 6 per cent of GDP on primary education but even the proportion of total Budget for children to total Union budget has always been less than 6 per cent.

The report said, a national budgetary allocation of less than 6 per cent for a population of about 40 per cent is clearly disproportionate.

The government’s under-investment in budget for children had played a significant role in adversely impacting India’s ability to meet its five year plan targets and millennium development goals relating to children.