India has a population of 1.21 billion. Children below the age of 18 years account for 38.24% of India’s population.

  • Vaccine preventable diseases are still responsible for over 5 lakh deaths annually in India.
  • Out of the 400 million children in India, every second child is malnourished[1]
  • Only 54% children of the 400 million in India receive full immunisation[2]
  • A slight gender differential noted, with 62% of the male children having received full immunization, as against 60% of females[3]
  • 45.9% of children under 3 are underweight[4]
  • 48.4% of all children under five are stunted (an indicator of chronic malnutrition) while 20% of children are wasted (too thin for their height, an indicator of acute malnutrition)[4]
  • 80% of the children under the age of 3 have anaemia[4]

Lack of healthcare during the first two years of a child's life can contribute to a lifetime of ill health. Timely polio drops, immunisation and monitored development, are crucial to preventing malnourishment.

The situation is extremely urgent because effects of lack of proper healthcare are irreversible if they occur at a young age. If not death, it leads to permanent disabilities that render them ill for the rest of their lives. Loss of thinking abilities, under-developed motor skills, speech and physical growth, lack of concentration, social inhibitions, and inability to interact with other children could be some of the major set-backs that a child could face in his growing years due to the lack of healthcare.

What we need most today is to restore to children their basic rights to proper healthcare and create a society where children can live a happy, healthy childhood.

    Sources:
  1. The World Bank
  2. NCRB 2011
  3. Government Reports
  4. Census 2011, Sample Registration System based estimation, NFHS3 2005-06