PUNE: As many as two crore children in India are living sans adequate parental care. This number is likely to increase by 2021 if urgent attention is not given to the issue. To address this, SOS Children’s villages of India have launched a campaign #NoChildAlone on the occasion of International Day of Families, which was celebrated on May 15.
The officials of the NGO stated that these two crore children do not receive adequate care because they have lost both or one of their parents, or being abandoned, or their families were unable to take care of them.
If serious measures are not taken such as strengthening the families, or providing abandoned children with a family-like environment in an alternate care home, this figure is estimated to rise to 2.4 crore by the year 2021, the organisation said.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, family gives the best environment for a child to grow. The principles under this convention also define the importance of child protection, best interest of the child, recognising child participation, etc.
In India, concerted efforts are required to give a family-like environment to the abandoned or orphaned children, stated SOS officials.
“Partnership from individuals and corporates, besides continuous support from the government, is the need of the hour,” said Anuja Bansal, Secretary General of SOS Children’s Villages of India.
SOS India presently has over 440 families under its umbrella and are taking care of 26,000 children through two flagship programmes – family based care programme (FBC) and family strengthening programme (FSP), said Bansal.
“The aim of SOS India is to build families for children so that they grow up with love, respect, dignity and security. Talking particularly about FSP, the programme strives to strengthen the families by enabling capacity development of the caregivers,” she said.
This year, the theme of International Families Day was ‘Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG13’ - the role of families and communities in development.
The events observed on the occasion participation of Bal Panchayat children, workshops on topics such as family values, women empowerment, health and child education.