The brand-new India Child Rights Index, by HAQ: Centre for Child Rights did some data crunching and pointed out that the average budget allocation from 2000 to 2009 for children has been 3.74%. This is not happy news, and worsened by poor policy in other sectors.
A case in point is the rise in popularity of diesel vehicles, which HT reported recently.
With business as usual, the approximately 4-fold difference between running costs of petrol and diesel vehicles will ensure more polluting diesel vehicles on the road.
Already, air pollution in India’s cities is a severe health problem and globally, air pollution is the 13th biggest cause of death.
Over 14% of Indians suffer from asthma, and children are particularly vulnerable, according to the World Allergy Association.
If we care about the children of this country, we have to reduce the number of private vehicles and replace them with a fantastic public transport system in all cities and towns over the next decade.
Expensive, yes, but an investment in children’s health.
Lunch, and more
We are constantly learning about how new materials are turning out to be toxic for children. A few days ago, a team of scientists in Italy announced that lunch packed in plastic-aluminum fused materials for 3 to 10 year olds had over 100 times more phthalates, a very toxic group of chemicals, than their pre-packaged levels.
The problem with phthalates is that they disrupt the endocrine system, critical for development of children. Parents are faced with a wider choice of food for their children and must look not only at taste and nutrition but also, packaging.