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Developmental Issues

Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry topped the charts in the child well-being index, a tool designed to measure and track children’s well-being comprehensively. Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh featured at the bottom of the list, according to a report released by the non-government organisation World Vision India and research institute IFMR LEAD on Tuesday.

The report is an attempt to look at how India fairs on child well-being using a composite child well-being index.

‘Crucial report’

Speaking on the report CEO-Niti Ayog Amitabh Kant noted: “The India child well-being index is a crucial report that can be mined both by the government and civil organisations to achieve the goal of child well-being and we will use this report effectively. This report provides insights on health, nutrition, education, sanitation and child protection.”

The dimensions of the index include healthy individual development, positive relationships and protective contexts.

24 indicators

“Focusing on the three key dimensions, 24 indicators were selected to develop the computation of the child well-being index. The report highlights the multi-dimensional approach towards measuring child well-being — going beyond mere income poverty. Children have the potential to transform the country, but if neglected, they will exacerbate the burden of poverty and inequality.

“It is imperative that all stakeholders prioritise and invest in the well-being of our children,” said Cherian Thomas, CEO, World Vision India.

The report, calls for States to look at their respective scores on the dimensions of child well-being, and to prepare for priority areas of intervention with specific plans of action. It also hopes to trigger policy level changes, seek better budgetary allocations and initiate discussions with all stakeholders, which can help in enhancing the quality of life of all children in the country.

‘Compelling insights’

“The research has brought to the fore compelling insights on child well-being in India. One of the primary objectives of this index is to garner attention to the under-researched theme of child well-being in India, and inspire further academic and policy conversations on related issues,” said Sharon Buteau, executive director, IFMR LEAD.

“Some of the key indicators that need to be studied include mobile usage, digital access, financial literacy, mental health and quality of relationships per se, between parents/peers and children,” she added.

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