Child mortality rate declines in Karnataka

There is dramatic drop in attendance during secondary education: Report


The national average fell from 117 to 72 deaths in the same period for children under five years. Revealing this at the launch of the report on State of World Children (SOWC), UNICEF representative for Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Michael Saint-Lot, said that statistics also show that attendance in primary schools for girls in rural Karnataka is 97.8 per cent compared to the national average of 81 per cent.

Despite the heartening trends for enrolment in primary education, National Family Health Survey statistics show that attendance rates drop  during secondary education.
The attendance rates hover around 70 per cent for girls in the age range of 11-14 years and drop to a mere 34 per cent for 15-17 years age range.

Child marriages

Speaking at a panel discussion, MLC Manohar Maski suggested that Child Welfare Committees (CWC) in each district should approve the couples getting married in mass marriages. This would eliminate the increasing cases of child marriages at these mass weddings, which have increased especially after the introduction of a government scheme, which give Rs 10,000 as incentive to these couples.

Age test

Secretary of Department of Women and Child Development D S Ashwath suggested appointing the District Medical Superintendent to the Committee, so that age of the girls and boys could be verified through tests, if there were no supporting documents.
Maski also suggested the setting up of a blog or a website to air grievances about implementation of child welfare schemes, so that the Legislators through their forum could approach the officers to sort out the matter.

Academician Dr Ghandi Doss called for assessment committee to set up criteria for eligibility for NGOs who take part in Government programmes. “There is no policy for using an NGO or any policy or guidelines framed for requirements to be met, to participate in a government programme” he said.


Officials criticised

In a scathing attack, UNICEF representative Michael Saint-Lot criticised the frequent transfers of government officials. He said “In Raichur district, we have seen 15 ZP Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in the last five years. Each time we travel to that area, it is a different officer. Key officials of departments like Health, Education, Women and Child development are also transferred frequently. How can one expect growth and governance when there is instability?” he asked.

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