Seven-year-old Shabnam had to stop going school to look after her newborn sibling as both her parents had to work at the nearby vegetable market in west Delhi. From Tuesday, a special public hearing will be held to address the woes of Shabnam and hundreds others like her at Constitution Club.
Organised by the Delhi FORCES (Forum for Crèche and Child Care Services), this Jan Sunvai on Care and Protection Issues of Young Children living in the Urban Poor Settlements of Delhi will highlight the neglected and threatening environment these kids live in the 28 bastis across the Capital. These slums house approximately 50 per cent of the city’s children.
To be done in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Child Rights, the hearing will showcase one of the most neglected sections of the development sector. “In the absence of state programmes for daycare services, safety and care facilities for young children are virtually absent. The incidence of malnutrition, toxic stress and abduction are high. The denial of educational opportunities for siblings is a violation of their Right to Education,” one of the organisers said.
A member of National Commission of Child Rights, Vandana Prasad, who is one of the five of the jury members at the Sunvai, feels policy changes are required to address these issues.“For particular cases, such as children with disabilities, we don’t have any system in place. We use these cases as a step towards policy formulation,” Prasad said, adding that these hearings create a sense of solidarity in the community.
Other jury members will include representatives of the Child Rights Unit of Human Rights Law Network Delhi and Delhi Commission for Child Rights and a former Union government secretary.