3.5 million children below the age of 5 die every year due to diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. 2 out of 3 children face sexual abuse and only 1 out of 3 of those who start education ends up finishing it. Nearly 12% spend their childhood working as child laborers. These are only some of the challenges that the children in India face.
The Art of Living has undertaken many initiatives to help the children grow up safely and to get a chance to enjoy their childhood. Setting up schools catering to over 40,000 children from remote tribal, rural and urban slums areas, running intervention programs to bring back child laborers to the mainstream and conducting special campaigns against child abuse especially for the girl child are some of our endeavors.
Coordinated efforts at a much larger scale are required to ensure that our next generation grows up safely.
“My daughter is the first person in our entire family to be getting an education. The others do not even know how to read or write. So we are very grateful for this.” - Jaba Soren, whose daughter is studying in one of our tribal schools in Jharkhand
Projects in Child Protection
Some of the challenges in this sector include:
Out of every 1000 children born in India, only 944 survive to the age of 5
2 out of every 3 children face some form of sexual abuse
1 out of every 2 girls in India gets married before the age of 18
Out of the 400 million children, every second child is malnourished
Owing to practice of extensive sex selection there are just 914 girls for every 1000 boys
12% of children have to spend their childhood toiling in hard physical labor
37% of children drop out of school before finishing class X
Our primary approach to address child protection is through education. Being a consistent engagement institution, schools provide ample opportunity to address multiple issues like child labor, parenting abuse and child marriage. The school education provides a child with a healthy and a firm foundations as he or she grows up.
Some of our interventions that involving free education, creating awareness against child marriage and preventing child labor include:
404 schools spread over 18 Indian states that provide education to over 40,000 children
Our Girl Child Pledge campaign in partnership with UNICEF saw more than 1 million people taking pledge against sex selection
We reached out to over 130,000 people in Bihar to sensitize them against child marriage. The community leaders we trained were able to prevent 23 direct incidents of child marriage
Targeted intervention against child labor in Assam helped us to bring 285 children to the mainstream by running special schools
Much more needs to be done to ensure that our children get a stress-free, conducive, happy and healthy childhood full of opportunities. Please reach out to us to know more about our projects in this sector and how we can partner to bring change.