Overview of India
India is the most ancient and highly
nation in the world. While India remains one of the world's poorest
countries, it is also very rich in cultural diversity. Indians
discriminate against each other on the basis of their age, gender, class,
and ethnic/cultural background. Poverty
is an acute and widespread condition for most of India's 395 million
children. As of 1986, 50% of India's total population lives below the
poverty line. In part, the cycle of poverty continues because close to
two-thirds of the Indian people are living in poor, rural areas.
India has the highest amount of child labor in the
world, and furthermore, a low amount of educational achievement. Not all
India is poor, however. Rather, there is a large socio-economic gap
between upper and lower classes based on remnants of the caste system,
a system which is deeply
embedded in Indian culture. The upper classes have greater access to
wealth, health care, and education.
Here are some statistics relating to Children in
|Population under 18||395,791,000|
|Population under 5||115,615,000|
|Annual Numer of Births||24,671,000|
|Percent of Children Completing Elementary
|Percent of Children Receiving Vitamin A||68%|
|Number of "Baby Friendly" Hospitals||1017
|Percent of Infants with Low Birth Weight||33%|
|Annual Number of Deaths: Children under
We derived the above statistics from the UNICEF web
page, last updated December 1999.
Our purpose is to provide information
social structure, diversity, and children's agency in India, in order to
about Indian children's experiences.
The above three
structure, diversity, and children's agency, will
guide our discussion of Indian children's lives.
This site will focus on the following
facets of children's lives
You may also access a map from
The above information was derived from
Whitehead, C. (1986). The Economics of Children at Work. New Statesman,
State Party Report. (July, 1997). United
. http://www.un.org (1999,