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There are approximately 18000 parents registered with CARA, while the number of children in the Government's adoption pool is less 1800.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welfare vs Rights based approach to address the children’s needs in India

In the last one week I had attended two conferences in two different cities – Bangalore and Chenni on JJ Act (Juvenile & Justice Act) and Child rights. The government of India and Tamilnadu held both the conferences respectively. Knowing what I know about the governments in general, I must say that I had come away with renewed amount of respect for what they are doing now.

In Bangalore I had learnt everything I need to know about JJ Act and it’s implications. JJ Act is a legislation that is passed by India in response to the signatory status of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) convention. I don’t know of any other earlier acts that were passed in protection of children of India but JJ Act is progressive and certainly protective of children’s interests.

In Chennai, I learnt the JJ Act in practice. We had representatives from several different kinds of homes (children’s) and NGO’s. They also had professional speakers talking to us about how we can take this message to those that work along with us. Tamilnadu state probably is one of the pioneer states in the implementation of JJ Act and it is yielding results. They are not shying away from spending huge amounts of money and partnering with anyone that works in the best interest of children.

Most important message that I had gotten from these conferences is this: Gone are those days that child in India was cared for on welfare-based approach but the current approach is rights based. Sooner all the Indian states become proactive and progressive on the JJ Act, quicker India will become a developed nation because a child today becomes an asset/ liability for a country tomorrow, and it is time that we guide him/ her recognizing their innate rights.


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