When we see a child begging in the streets, the first thought that comes to us is where are the child’s parents or has the child been trafficked? When we see a child labouring in a restaurant, we wonder why the child is not in school? When we see children languishing in shelters, we wonder how could their parents leave them?
India has 30 Million abandoned and orphaned children. The number of children that reach child care institutions (aka shelters) range from 0.25 to 0.5 Million. Many of these shelters are unsafe. Finally, the number of children that reach the legal adoption pool is barely 2000 at any point of time. Contrast that with more than 20,000 prospective parents who are waiting to adopt a child. Abandoned and orphaned children are being denied the chance of ever reaching a safe family. There no reconciliation for the wide chasm between 30,000,000 and 2000. We don’t know whether the children are being trafficked for inhumane and illicit purposes. We don’t know whether the children are ending up on the streets, being used as child labour, or being absorbed in their communities. We don’t know whether they are safe.
India has the laws and the government/bureaucratic structure to protect these children. There are district level bodies called Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and District Child Protection Units (DCPUs) who are supposed to find and account for these children and put them on a path for rehabilitation (including adoption). But that does not happen. Ground implementation, as always, in the problem. The lack of ground implementation has been brought to light several times by the media, the Supreme Court, and even the central government, but to no avail. Therefore, the biggest force in our country, the people of India, have decided to come together to ask for change.
A driven group of socially conscious individuals, concerned citizens, and adoptive parents have launched the Where Are India’s Children (WAIC) Campaign for all of us to raise our voice together on Children’s Day, 14th November, 2018.
The campaign is addressing Six specific issues in the child welfare mechanism and proposing six specific asks/solutions to the government. Everyone is urged to join the campaign — if we collectively speak for our most vulnerable children, we can ensure that not a single child in our country is without a home.
About Campaign Leads:
Smriti Gupta is an adoption activist and child rights campaigner. She is working to drive awareness and find lasting solutions for India’s most vulnerable children. Smriti is an adoptive mother of two daughters and a champion for adoption of children with special needs, older children, and siblings. Smriti has previously led partnerships and marketing for technology companies such as Wikimedia Foundation and PayPal. She is an alum of the Indian School of Business and Carnegie Mellon University.
Protima Sharma is an entrepreneur, certified adoption counsellor & child rights campaigner. Inspired by her own experience of adopting her daughter, she is committed to the cause of child welfare and adoption in India. Using her experience of building successful startups, Protima applies her business acumen to raise awareness on adoption with parents and other stakeholders. Sharma is an alum of Indian Institute of Science.
Disclaimer : Khabarbar.com is only the publishing medium for WAIC and is not associated with the actual campaign
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