The government is all set to make a controversial change in the Child Labour Prohibition Act during the current session of Parliament. The new amendment will allow children below the age of 14 years to work in select family enterprises if it doesn’t curb their right to education.
The prohibition will not apply if children assist the family in fields, forests and home-based work after school hours or during vacations or while attending technical institutions, states a draft provision in the Child Labour Prohibition Act.
A proposal by the Labour Ministry declared that the new standard will also be valid in the entertainment industry and sports excluding the circus. However, children between the age of 14 and 18 will not be allowed to work in industries dealing in perilous work.
An official from the Labour Ministry told an English daily that the new norms will be in agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention. Therefore, it is likely to be passed smoothly even in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in minority.
“While the provision will especially help poor families where children help in family subsistence, we have enough safeguards to ensure that these children are not forced by families to work in any industry,” he stated.
Census data have revealed that the numbers of child labourers in India have fallen to 4.3 million from 12.6 million in the last decade. Industries dealing in matchboxes, footwear, fireworks and carpet making are the biggest employers of children below the allowed age.
The current child labour law prohibits the employment of children below 18 years in hazardous industries. However, it was in 2012, during the UPA government, when the ban was extended to all industries.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill, 2012, introduced in the Rajya Sabha, suggested a complete ban on child labour until they finish elementary education, guaranteed under the Right to Education Act.
“The effort is to push two more legislation in the current session, including the Small Factories Act and amendment to the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act,” said the ministry official.
New Delhi, October 12, 2017: In 2016, an Official data in had revealed that over 41 million children below the age of 5 were affected by obesity. Without due attention and efficient treatment, they are likely to remain obese throughout their lives, with an increased risk of developing a host of diseases and physical and psychological consequences like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death.
In view of an escalating number of people constantly coming under the ambush of obesity, and with childhood obesity becoming a cause of worry globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines on October 4, emphasizing the growing importance of healthcare experts and professionals, underlining their positive role in helping kids and teenagers fight the global menace.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as ‘excess adipose tissue’. In other words, it is a body-weight disorder involving excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems. In case a person’s body-weight is nearly 20 per cent higher than it should be, he is considered obese.
There are different ways to calculate excess adipose tissue, the most common one being the Body Mass Index.
Overweight – BMI greater than or equal to 25
Obesity – BMI greater than or equal to 30
According to data obtained by WHO, one half of all overweight children or obese children lived in Asia, and one-quarter of the total obese children lived in Africa.
According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June, India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot.
The global menace continues to rise rapidly in low and middle-income countries.
Also Read: Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study
The new report released by WHO on October 4 is titled ‘Assessing and Managing Children at Primary Healthcare Facilities to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition’.
The report provides guidelines and updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). The guidelines attempt to confine the spread of childhood obesity from expanding further, and prescribe undertaking proper assessment of dietary habits along with weight and height measurements. It also recommends dieting and proper counseling by healthcare experts.
Recommendations by WHO
WHO has recommended that primary healthcare facilities should be made available to all children below the age of 5 years and infants. These should include measurement of both weight and height of the children to determine their weight-for height and nutritional status as previously defined by WHO child growth standards.
For children and infants identified as overweight, healthcare experts should provide counseling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity, which includes creating awareness about healthy practices like exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continuing the practice until 2 years or more.
WHO also prescribes that an appropriate management plan should be devised to counter the menace in obese children. This can be developed by a trained health worker at primary healthcare facilities, or local hospitals.
Healthy Eating Tips to Fight Obesity
Here are a few healthy eating tips that will not only help you maintain a healthy weight but will also prove be be beneficial for your metabolism, physical strength and general well-being,
Refrain from unnecessary indulgences or random snacking and encourage healthy snacking choices like popcorns, yogurt, fruits, etc.
Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 per cent of the total calories for an individual with normal weight.
Consume a gracious serving of seasonal vegetables and fruits everyday that are rich in soluble and insoluble fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Make healthy food selections- include whole grain products, avoid excessive use of oil and salt and refrain from processed or packaged food.
A balanced diet must be complimented with regular exercise to counter unnecessary weight gain
– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
Breastfeeding creates a protective shield for your child against various diseases
A child suffering from Asthma who was breastfed is less prone to Asthma aggravation
Breastfeeding strengthens child’s immunity system by providing all necessary nutrients, minerals, antibodies to the child
Washington D.C., September 4, 2017: When a baby is born, the initial few months are very crucial for the baby’s immunity system. Research says that breast milk develops the immunity system of a child and this immune system protects the child from various health problem throughout his life.
A research was conducted on 960 children aged between 4 to 12 years who were consuming regular asthma medicines.
According to the analysis made on the children suffering from asthma, those children who had been breastfed had a 45% lower risk of asthma exacerbations later in life as compared with children who had not been breastfed.
Dr. Anke Maitland-van der Zee, the senior author of the study, said that although breastfeeding can be seen as a protective factor for asthma exacerbation, the causal relation is still unclear.
According to another research conducted by Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, children who were fed other milk or solids in addition to breast milk in first 4 months had an increased risk of wheezing, dry cough, and persistent phlegm as compared to children who were exclusively breastfed in their first 4 months.
In the early stage of life, changes in the composition and activity of the gut microbiome influence the immune system and these changes might indirectly lead to changes in asthma later in life.
Scientifically, the causal relationship between breast feeding and asthma is not still unknown. But research says that breast feeding plays a vital role in developing a child’s immune and respiratory system. So, in this way, breast feeding does reduce the child’s vulnerability towards Asthma.
-prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter handle: @cshivani31
Education should work in the direction of expanding the horizon of knowledge children
There is a need to shift educational learning for school goers from content mastery to competency mastery
To compete with the children worldwide, they need to have an understanding that is beyond books
New Delhi, August 21, 2017: There is a need to look beyond the world of text books and inculcate in children qualities like empathy towards society, humanity, sensitivity towards other human beings and nature.
Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman of National Book Trust (NBT), talked about nurturing creativity, innovation in young minds for nation’s economic and spiritual development.
He was speaking at the FICCI’s first-ever Children’s Publishing Conclave called ‘Scrapbook’. Mr. Sharma said that it is crucial to observe and spot the creativity in children. To not just bound them to the school curriculum. The Supplementary books in school should teach them about the life lessons, that they should be good human beings. Such books will help them in the developing a good and positive personality; it will also strengthen their thinking and imaginative skills.
In the conclave, he talked about how brave soldiers can inspire kids to be like that when they grow up and fight for their country someday. If not, even then such books will inculcate a feeling of patriotism in them. According to ANI reports, Mr. Sharma (pointing towards NBT’s efforts) said, “‘The Veergatha’ series had been introduced by NBT, which talks of the great acts of bravery by Indian soldiers.” The first series has a set of 5 books in English and Hindi, they are written so as to inspire the young minds and evoke feelings of patriotism in children from an early age.
Children are sometimes overburdened with books. UNESCO encourages learning in mother tongue, especially at the early stage. Sharma said that education should work in the direction of expanding the horizon of knowledge in a child and he agrees with UNESCO that teaching a child in mother tongue should be encouraged to retain cultural values.
Dr. Hrushikesh Senapaty, Director of NCERT, said: “There is a need to shift educational learning for school goers from content mastery to competency mastery, where competencies should be classified into character, intellectual and social.” He stressed upon the need to make the classroom environment vibrant where teachers would play the role of a facilitator- will provide them with an opportunity where they can develop and strengthen their competencies as well as communication ability. He added, “The Indian education system is moving from knowledge construction to knowledge processing with the help of technology, enabling children to explore, innovate and create.”
Appreciating FICCI’s initiative, Dr. Senapaty said that the goal of this publishing conclave is to produce content which is rich in quality and is innovative. It will enable them to learn in a collaborative environment. He added, “Indian children have performed well when they follow a prescribed school curriculum but to compete with the children worldwide, they need to have an understanding that is beyond books and focus on skills like building their applied knowledge.”
Ms. Urvashi Butalia, Chairperson, FICCI Publishing Committee and Director, Zubaan, said that the conclave focused on:
promoting book reading amongst young minds
government and children’s publishers- enhance learning outcome in educational space
policy advocacy- nurture collaboration between schools
addressed- gender misrepresentation in children’s books
concerns- children’s content in school books
implementing theory of multiple intelligence on children’s content- enhance learning outcome
changing role of technology in children’s content and its impact on K-12 (kindergarten (K) and the 1st -12th grade) education
Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary-General, FICCI, said that this platform will help to explore possible collaboration between children, content creators, offline and online service providers, publishers, technology disruptors, schools, teachers, parents, and policymakers. The conclave focused on the important aspects like learning requirements of an individual child, crucial role publishers can play to address it.
The conclave also had some interesting workshops for school children. The workshops had activities like creative writing, story-telling and received appreciation from the young minds.
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