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World lacks enough “global political will” to prioritise Children: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi

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Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Wikimedia

Kolkata, April 22, 2017: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Saturday said the world lacks enough “global political will” to prioritise children and adequate budgetary allocations have not been made for education, health and child protection.

“There is a need of global political will to prioritise children and that is not so adequate which is supposed to be. I always call upon the government to protect one generation. You need not to worry about next generation. They will protect themselves.

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“Unfortunately, we do not have the enough global political will where children are prioritised, the policies are for the betterment of the children, laws are properly enforced and where adequate budgetary allocations are made to ensure education, health and protection of children,” said Satyarthi at an interactive session with Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

Satyarthi, whose organisation has been working in 144 countries across the world for child protection and was as jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, said there is strong correlation between child labour and unemployment.

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“Globally, 168 million child labourers are working in the harshest conditions while 210 million adults are jobless,” he said

Citing National Crime Records Bureau data, he said 11 children go missing in India every hour and half of them are never rescued.

Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme, he said: “Girl child is not safe. Most of them do not feel safe at home as they are often sexually abused by their relatives. Even the boys are not safe.”

He called for a collective moral responsibility from every citizen as well as corporates and the government to come forward for the protecting children. (IANS)

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Study Reveals Midday Meals in School Improves Child’s Scores and Skills

The effect of nutrition appears to be cumulative, seen over time.

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Food provided to children during Midday Meal. Pixabay

Primary school children who ate midday meals over an extended period were shown to have significantly better learning outcomes, according to researchers of Indian-origin.

The researchers, in the study published in the Journal of Development Economics, suggest a powerful connection between nutrition and education.

Professors Rajshri Jayaraman from ESMT Berlin in Germany and Tanika Chakraborty from the Indian Institute of Technology in India studied the effects of India’s midday meal scheme – the world’s largest free school lunch programme – feeding over 120 million children every day.

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Children showed an improvement of nine per cent for maths test scores. Pixabay

The study showed that children with up to five years of midday meals had reading test scores that are 18 per cent higher than those of students with less than a year of school lunches.

In addition, they showed an improvement of nine per cent for maths test scores.

“The effect of nutrition appears to be cumulative, seen over time. Previous studies have varied between two weeks and two years, and failed to capture the important impact. Our research shows that the real benefit of school lunches was seen in children exposed for two to five years,” said Jayaraman.

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For the study, the researchers used data from nearly 600 rural districts in India, covering over 200,000 households.

In 2017, World Food Programme implemented or supported school feeding programmes for 18.3 million children in 71 countries.(IANS)