All over the world, population in increasing. 40% of the population of the world today consists of children. Many of these children do not get these basic needs. There are many reasons for that. There is war in many parts of the world. When parents die, children become orphans. Sometimes people have to leave their homes and run away to other parts of the country to other countries because of war, or natural disasters like, earthquake, floods, or volcanic eruption. In that case, the children of these refugees do not get their basic needs.
In 1996, the United Nations had a Convention on the rights of the Child. 187 countries including India signed a document declaring the Rights of Children. All these countries agreed that all children be provided by the government, if the parents are not there, of if the parents are poor.
According to the Convention, every child has fur basic rights.
According to the Survival Right, every child has to be provided with nutritious food, safe drinking water, a secure home with good sanitation and facilities for maintaining good health.
This right seeks to ensure that no one takes advantage of children and that their minds and bodies are protected. When some is beating a child, hurting a child or insulting a child this right is violated.
This right states that all children have to be provided with facilities for education, facilities for sports and games and the right to practice their won religion and culture.
This right seeks to ensure that children are allowed to express their won opinions and feelings regarding their life. A child has the right to speak politely but freely to his or her parents, teachers and adults.
According to the Constitution of India which came into force on 26th January 1950,
- All children have a right to free and compulsory education upto the age of 14 years.
- Children must not be allowed to do hard labor till the age of 14 years.
- Children can meet, talk and express their feels and thoughts.
But like India, there are many poor countries where all children do not get those basic rights.
In India alone, there are nearly 20 million children who do not get a chance to go to school. They have to work or beg in order to live. Sometimes, in factories making fire crackers, bangles and carpets, the working conditions are so dangerous, that their health is spoilt or accidents occur and many of them die.
Almost 63% of children in India do not get enough nutritious food. This leads to decrease of malnutrition – blindness, or deformed limbs. Grains and pulses, vegetables and fruits can give us ample nutrition. Two million children in India die before they are one year old because there are no proper health facilities like good doctors and medicines. The living conditions are so poor that they become victim of all kinds of disease, like typhoid and malaria; especially because they do not get clean drinking water.
About 8 lakh children in India live on the streets. Almost every family living in the slums on the foot-paths is never sure when they would be forced to leave their homes – by governments, by landlords or trouble-makers. Most of the houses have no electricity, 25% do not have safe drinking water, and many of them have a common tap where they have to wait in long queues. 40% do not have toilet facility. In some slums, there is only one toilet for 27 families. So the people are forced to use the open spaces.