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Destitute children on the streets. Representational image. Wikimedia

November 10, 2016: The children of a nation are its future. But what happens when the children are not secure or their lives are not fulfilled with the basic necessities for a healthy survival?

Poverty is a disease eating its way through this world and the ones most affected by it are children. Poverty robs the people of their rights. These children fail to experience a good beginning in their lives and the stress of the poverty on them at such a young age leaves scar, which can last a lifetime. This leads to absence of basic skills that one needs to survive in the world today. This leads to a stunted growth in the economy as the full potential of the human population is never utilized.


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Comprehending the problem is a leap towards solving it. The children struck with poverty are affected in all spheres of their lives. The lack of proper nutrition or sanitation affects their health which is reflected in their education and lifestyle.

According to UNICEF, based on statistics from 89 countries comprising of about 84 percent of the developing parts of the world, 385 million children were members of critically poor households in 2013.

The Sub-Saharan Africa houses just under 49 per cent of the world’s extremely poor and just over 51 per cent of the world’s extremely poor children. South Asia comes right after it with around 35.7 percent, out of which approximately 30.3 percent belong to India.

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In 2013, 9.2 percent of adults were living in poverty in developing nations, whereas 19.5 percent of the children were living under similar conditions. The younger the children are, the more they are vulnerable to the consequences of poverty, as they need more nurturing and care than before.

81.4 per cent of the poor children belong to rural areas. This number is gigantic compared to the meagre 18.6 per cent residing in the urban areas.

“Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, malnutrition is rampant in India. Four out of 10 stunted children globally are Indian, more than in sub-Saharan Africa” says a Reuters report and according to UNICEF, about 50 per cent of children under the age of 5, around 54 million have a stunted development in India.

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Child labor in India. Wikimedia

Poverty leads the children into lives so dark we cannot begin to comprehend. They become victims of violence, trafficking, prostitution, child labor and many other forms of evil. In 2004-05, around 2.3 percent of the children, aged 5 to 14, had fallen prey to child labor in India and 2.4 percent in the urban areas during 2007-08.

Such poverty not only limits the possibilities for the current generation but also brings down the entire community the children live in. Investment in the early stages of the lives of the children can make a huge difference. Improving services for sanitation, schools, health care can improve the lifestyle of the children and help break the vicious cycle of poverty.

– by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker


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