Around 66% of children living in Delhi's urban slums are malnourished.
In a baseline survey by Child Rights and You (CRY) in various states, including Delhi, the seven districts of the city had 7,500 slum children between the age of 0 and 6 years. Out of the 20% migrants living in city's slums, 12, 00000 are children.
The survey was conducted in a tie-up with its partner, Alliance for People's Rights. "The number of those who have access to healthcare facility under various government schemes such as the Integrated Child Development Scheme is minimal," said Ram Kumar Verma, president, Action for Health Education and Social Awareness Society, who handled the Delhi-chapter of the survey that was conducted last year.
As many as 66,600 Anganwadi Centres (AWSc) in the city cater to a mere 2.72% of the total number of slum children. The AWCs spread across nine Delhi districts are plagued with internal problems such as low wages to workers running these centres, lack of infrastructure, unavailability of space for children to play etc.
"Ironic it may seem, but many children of ICDS workers, who are supposed to overcome the problem, were found to be malnourished during our survey. These workers don't get more than R3,000 a month," said Yogita Verma, director, CRY.
The surveyors found that a majority of people below poverty line were unable to have access to various schemes such as Janani Suraksha Yojana, due to lack of relevant documents. "They have no proof to show that they fall below poverty line. We are talking about illiterate people. National Rural Health Mission data for 2006-07 reveals only 20 women in the city had availed facilities under the Yojna," said Verma.