Migration is a traumatic experience for children, depriving them of basic access to education, hygiene and a natural environment to grow. A latest study shows that a whopping 64 per cent of migrant children and 71 pc of migrant mothers in Odisha are deprived of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) both at their source and destination.
Migrants, who move within the State, are neither documented nor registered or monitored by any agency. While the State is among the first to legislate a law for migrants, intra-state migrants are not covered under its Migrant Workman Act of 1979.
The study __ Access to Education, Nutrition and Protection of Children Of Migrant Workers __ was conducted across Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Berhampur which draw huge number of migrants from within Odisha and outside too.
The study reveals that 72 pc of the mapped households migrate in distress condition while 28 pc do it for higher income. Distress is a key factor of migration of the people living in remote, under-developed and backward districts.
The report, conducted by Aide et Action and released here on Thursday, revealed that incidence of family migration in Odisha is on the rise and more and more children are accompanying their parents. Tragic, the kids spend half of their lives at work sites.
Out of the eligible school-going children, 40 pc were never enrolled in schools and of those, who were enrolled, 84 pc dropped out. Deprivation of nutrition and early childcare and education is a key feature among migrant children. It also points out that the access to school by migrant children drops significantly in Odisha when they move to a new place.
Despite a host of programmes in place, a staggering 84 pc of migrant children fail to get some kind of schooling at the destination. At their native villages, 41 pc children do not attend any school. Most of these children belong to seasonal migrants and leave their schools when their families go to brick kilns from October to November. They leave the work sites during June and July by which time enrolment is over. While the kids do not get any bridge course or special training, neither the teachers nor any other agency attempt to take them back into school.
Among the children, who came under the mapping, 38 pc are engaged as child labourers in brick kilns, stone quarries and construction sites. Of them, the majority __ about 80 pc __ are engaged in brick-making.
Children also become the worst victim of seasonal migration which deprives them of health care and nutrition.