VIJAYAWADA: The number of children needing care and protection is huge and increasing over the years in the country.
Extreme poverty and illiteracy are among the causes of negligence of children, according to S P Tucker, chief secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day regional conference on ‘Children in Difficult Circumstances,’ here on Tuesday, Tucker underlined the need for better efficiency of government agencies and NGOs to quickly resolve children’s issues.
The conferrence was jointly organised by the Plan International and Academy of Gandhian Studies on Tuesday
In large cities, there are serious problems of street children, abandoned and often homeless and those employed in menial work.
Even schemes that are implemented by the government are poorly utilised by the children due to lack of awareness, he said.
Tucker pointed out that the urban underprivileged, migrating population (a very sizable number) and rural communities are particularly affected.
In many places children are employed and it is a major problem in our society.
He added that youngsters should wake up to the realities around them and actively take part in finding solutions to social ills such as child labour.
Secretary of Academy of Gandhian Studies, Gopala Krishna Murthy, said that yet there are millions of children in specially difficult circumstances when their basic need for food, shelter, education, medical care and security are not met.
The government should focus on analysing current policies and programmes to review the present situation of children who are facing several vulnerabilities in the country, he said.
The day-long seminar had sessions on topics which included children and vulnerabilities, post-disaster vulnerabilities of children, child marriage and vulnerabilities faced by child brides.
“By organising conferences such as this, we are trying to address the problem of lack of awareness about Right to Education Act among children,” said the organisers.