India allocates less than 5% of its GDP to children, they make up almost 40% of the population.
India is home to one-third of the world’s undernourished children, despite impressive economic progress with real GDP per capita growing by 3.95 percent annually from 1980 to 2005. [Institute of Development Studies, UK]
With two million children under the age of five dying every year, India has a dismal record in child mortality . 60% of them are living in just five of the country’s 28 states . Notably, these 5 states have poor illiteracy rates, complex caste system and political supremacy of Hindu right wing groups. India ranked low with no. 16 on NEW WEALTH AND SURVIVAL INDEX among 41 countries . Eight million children (80 lakhs) — more than the population of Switzerland — are still out of school in India. 1.3 lakh children among them are just in Delhi, one of India’s wealthiest cities.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street-children population of over 100,000. The total number of Child labor in India is estimated to be 60 million.
The level of child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even than some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, says the report ‘Extent of Chronic Hunger and Malnutrition in India’ by the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food. While around 25 percent children globally were underweight, in India the number was 43 percent. A quarter of all neo-natal deaths in the world, (2.1 million) occurred in India, says UNICEF Report 2007 . More than one in five children who die within four weeks of birth is an Indian. Nearly fifty percent of Indian children who die before the age of five do not survive beyond the first 28 days.