Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Wednesday, 24 September 2014 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

The Migration information & Resource Centre (MiRC) and the Aide et Action International-South Asia in collaboration with the Bernard van Leer Foundation here on Monday released and screened Migrating Childhood, a documentary unfolding the lives of migrant children living at worksites.
Regional Thematic Head, Aide et Action Umi Daniel briefed the participants about the film before its release by a panel of five comprising Biren Das (filmmaker), Dharitri Patnaik (India Representative, Bernard van Leer Foundation), Teki Vishy (Director, Communication Resource Centre), Digambar Saptahthy and Umi Daniel.
Teki Vishy said Lots of such migrant children miss out on early childhood care and education and become child labour. Health is a bigger issue for these children when they migrate along with their parents to live in such unsafe, unhealthy and hazardous environment.
Biren Das said, “It’s good to see such a complex issue being captured in such a simple way. I hope government takes some proactive action on this issue and provide the children a better living.”
The documentary was shot in four cities, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Hyderabad. It suggests solutions for creating safe and healthy environment for the children living at workplaces like brick kilns, construction sites and stone crusher units.
The film aims at creating public awareness and raising policy issues to better the lives of migrant children. The video is produced by the Communication Resource Centre (CRC), Hyderabad.
As per the UNESCO, 2011 report, annually about 50 million people of the country migrate seasonally in search of jobs. Out of them, 15 per cent are children. The elder and adolescent ones often migrate with their parents to look after their siblings and help their parents in work. India is home to the largest child population in the world of 420 million children in the 0-18-year age group.
The Constitution of India guarantees all children their rights and entitlements through its various provisions. According to the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution, it is an obligation of the State to ensure that children are protected from exploitation, moral and material abandonment throughout the period of growth and development.
But millions of Indian children grow without any social and legal protection. One such category is that of vulnerable migrant children who are still unnoticed due to their frequent mobility and fragmented location.
The UNESCO report says around 15 million Indian children are migrants and denied of their rights and services guaranteed in the UN declaration and the Indian Constitution.
A study by the Aide et Action in 2013 says children in the 0-14 year age group constitute 47 per cent of the total child population. The migrant children do not get enrolled into Anganwadi or local schools due to the language barrier. Children in the early years are particularly more vulnerable. Deprivation at this stage affects human beings throughout their whole life cycle.
Those who are neglected or abused in the first years of life suffer damage from which they may never fully recover. Lack of access to proper food and health services lead to malnutrition with all its debilitating effects on them.
The film aims at influencing various stakeholders like the Government, NGOs, civil society organisations, facility owners and the media to look into the issues of the migrant children and adopt ways to better their lives by providing them access to the basic rights and entitlements, safe, healthy and learning environment at worksites.

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