Children and Adolescents in Urban India
Scale and Nature of Deprivation
The National Institute of Urban Affairs under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs , with support from UNICEF, India, undertook an empirical study titled ‘Scale and Nature of Deprivation among Children and Adolescents in Urban India: An Empirical Analysis’ based on secondary data from official census and large-scale sample surveys.
The study tries to understand the differential dynamics of children and adolescents across gender, economic categories (poor vs. non-poor) and different residential neighbourhoods (slum vs. non-slum) in areas of survival and nutrition; health; hygiene practice and access to basic water and sanitation facilities; educational attainment; employment and crime against children and adolescents.
The objective of the study was to analyze the trends of the situation of poor children and adolescents in urban areas and identify evidence gaps to policy formulation, for a comprehensive strategy to reduce the inequities in living and welfare of children, adolescents and their families, living in slums and periphery of cities and towns.
The study has brought to the fore the progress that has taken place in the last decade in social sector yet disparities were profound between poor and non-poor, to the extent that in many indicators, situation of urban poor children is worse off than those of the rural areas, for most of the sectors.
Regarding the report’s policy dimension, study highlights the urgent need for institutionalizing the urban health care system at all levels; improving access to basic services of water and sanitation for the urban poor families and overall; an integrated approach to building a strong evidence for urban programming in sectors of education, employment and social protection. These disparities would get exacerbated by the humanitarian crisis like COVID, thereby, emphasizing the need for more focused and integrated interventions.