The status of children in Jammu and Kashmir

Published at December 02, 2018 12:03 AM 0Comment(s)5673views

The status of children in Jammu and Kashmir

AltafHussain Haji

It was September 2000, 189 countries including India signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing to eradicating extreme poverty in all its forms by 2015. To help track progress toward these commitments, a set of time-bound and quantified goals and targets, called the Millennium Development Goals, were developed to combat poverty in its many dimensions - including reducing income poverty, hunger, universalization of primary education, disease, environmental degradation and gender discrimination.

The United Nations international child education fund’s commitment for children by the fact that the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) impact every aspect of a child's well-being. The UNICEF said about children in SDG’s as:

  • Every child survives and thrives
  • Every child learns
  • Every child is protected from violence and exploitation
  • Every child lives in a safe and clean environment
  • Every child has a fair chance in life

Since the Children are the most valuable assets for every country. Children are not only future of the nation but also wellbeing dream of all developments. 

The member countries  of the united nation to work in keeping above points to every child for eradicate hunger, achieve universal primary education and reduce child mortality which  are directly link with the child care and wellbeing Children’s welfare measure will lead to every aspect of the development of a nation: economic, social and political.

India has fared well in reaching certain child-related development goals – for example, in relation to “Reduce child mortality" there has been a 56 per cent decline in child mortality in the one to four years’ age group since 1990 - but many other MDGs will go unrealized in 2015 if other equally critical measures are not fulfilled.

In another example, while India is not at all on target to meet the second sub-goal to “Reduce by half the number of people who suffer from hunger”.

At the most recent survey in 2005-6, more than 40 per cent of children under three were still underweight, compared with the targeted 26 per cent.

In terms to Improve Maternal Health, India will have to almost halve by the end of 2015 the number of mothers who die in childbirth from 212 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007-9 to 109 deaths.

The situation of Malnutrition among its citizens as per Millennium Development report of India 2015, the Prevalence of Underweight Children under 3 years of age for country is 40.4 and for state Jammu and Kashmir is 20.4 respectively.

The overall the Summary of Progress achieved by India during Millennium Development goals is slow and almost off-track. 

The Percentage of underweight of state Jammu and Kashmir showing improvement of nutritional status of children (in terms of underweight) during 1998-99 to 2005-06 below 3 years was 29.2 to 24.0 respectively Children. This nutritional status is very low as compared to all India level.

Let us discuss percentages of children such as child Mortality and Infant Mortality Rate:

Child mortality

The Under- Five Mortality Rate of India as per  Millennium Development  report of India 2015 is 49 and for state Jammu and Kashmir  is 40.  In 2013, in all States, except Jammu &Kashmir (male: 40, female: 39), U5MR is higher among females than males as per data of Sample Registration System, Office of Registrar General of India.

This needs also to be attentive for all us as the less than five mortality rate is low as compared to all India level.

Infant Mortality Rate

The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the number of death in children under 1 year of age per 1000 live births. The factors influencing infant mortality are likely to influence the health status of the whole population such as health of mothers and extent of pre/post natal care, general living conditions, rates of illness, their economic development and the quality of the environment. 

Thus IMR   is a very sensitive indicator of health not only for children but also for the population as a whole. 

As per Millennium Development report of India 2015, the summary of the infant mortality rate at national level is 40 while for state Jammu and Kashmir is 37. The overall the summary said   that the progress on Infant Mortality Rate is moderately on track.  

As we know that   to reducing child mortality is very critical for the development of a nation. But India have achieved some improvement to reduce Infant Mortality Rate to some extent.

Further our country needs to continue the focused initiatives aimed to address and tackle the issues associated with child health in a holistic manner to reach the desired level of development

As we know that essence of Human Resource Development is education, which plays a significant and remedial role in balancing the socio-economic fabric of the society. Education is the only key to success in personal and professional life. Education provides us various types of knowledge and skills.

The status of primary education is as per India  Development Report of  2015 by MDG  published by Ministry of Statistics and programme Implementation, Government of India, it was   found that  Net Enrolment Ratio in primary education at all India level was 83.08 while it was found 68.99 for Jammu and Kashmir State.

Further one more indication of MDG on education regarding youth (age15-24) literacy rate at All India level was 86.10 and for state Jammu and Kashmir is 83.15. 

These two goals state that education in Jammu and Kashmir is lagging behind in order to achieve the targets of universal primary education by 2015.

Progress of India is likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal as the enrolment and completion rates of girls in primary school have improved and are catching up with those of boys, as are elementary completion rates.

In light of the Right of Children to free and compulsory Education the challenges now are the quality of education, school results below expectations and completion of upper primary education, particularly among girls, children in rural areas and those belonging to minority groups, and those students in the poorest sections of society.

The large scale of under-nutrition in expectant mothers and children poses a challenge for India in reaching the Millennium Development Goals on child nutrition, survival and development.

On a positive note, recent government efforts in restructuring the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other initiatives are typical of the national commitment to holistic child development

It is recognizing the challenges to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, the Government has in recent years implemented national flagship programmes for education, reproductive and child health, child development, child protection, child nutrition, and water and sanitation.

Also restructuring and universalizing the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme to respond to the challenges in child development has provided great opportunities to speed the pace of progress towards the MDGs, and with a greater level of inclusion.

Historically, the Government of India along with all states  has adopted ambitious targets related to children that are in line with, and at times more ambitious than, the MDGs through its “five-year plans”.

Centrally sponsored schemes have increased public resources to key sectors, notably the SarvaShikshaAbhiyan in education – the national policy to universalize primary education, the reproductive and child health programme and the National Rural Health Mission.

The challenge remains to convert these commitments and resources into measurable results for all children, especially those belonging to socially disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

In order to implementation of UNICEF recently the sustainable development goals   who give path for eight (8) indicators Sustainable Development Goals which are calledcustodian indicators namely:

  • Skilled attendance at birth
  • Under-5 mortality
  • Neonatal mortality
  • Early childhood development
  • Child marriage
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Child discipline
  • Sexual violence against children

Further nine (9) co-custodian indicator namely:

  • Fully immunized children
  • Sexual violence against women and girls, by intimate partner
  • Sexual violence against women and girls, by person other than intimate partner
  • Safely managed water
  • Safely managed sanitation and hand washing
  • Child labor
  • Birth registration
  • Stunting
  • Wasting/overweight


These indicator in terms of custodian and co-custodian to reach targets of Sustainable development goals  It is a major task at this movement that the improvement of service delivery and capacity development at district and local levels may be taken in considerations to implement and monitor very large programmes of social, economic and political inclusion, decreasing the incidence of gender and caste-based violence and a reduction of regional disparities requires concerted efforts to promote greater access of vulnerable groups – such as women, Dalits, tribal groups and religious minorities – to basic services, including credit and social security, opportunities for substantial work and participation in decision-making by government.

It is to mention here that the States of India have the major role in putting in place programmes to meet the Sustainable Development Goals since the responsibility for implementing most of the social sector programmes relating to the goals lies with state governments.


Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office (Field Operations Division) Regional office, Srinagar



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