Child protection a neglected area in union budget: NGO

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - Issues related to children have not been taken into consideration in the manner they should in the union budget, NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) complained Thursday.

As union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is all set to present the Budget for 2011-12 Monday, the NGO for child rights states that the budget allocations for the child have remained paltry.

“The child protection budget for a country of more than 440 million children is a mere 0.34 percent of the total union budget 2010-11, which is perhaps why India has become a child trafficking hotspot,” CRY CEO Puja Marwaha said.

She also stressed that this year CRY is asking for 10 percent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to be invested in children’s education and health. “For longer term growth, this is the barest minimum.”

Marwaha said that ignoring childhood poverty and education will affect the nation’s economic standing.

For example, India is in talks with the US to buy 10 C-17 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force, estimated to be worth Rs.26,100 crore, which is equal to the cost of educating all of India’s 6-14 year olds.

“Whether you are a government looking at fast tracking industrial growth, a business house hoping for better profit margins or a salaried professional working towards better lifestyle, the large number of Indian children living and growing up in extreme poverty and destitution can and will affect life and business,” she added.

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