Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mumbai NGO helps slum children get birth certificates

A non-governmental organisation here is helping hundreds of children living in slums get birth certificates.

Most people take the birth certificate for granted, a document that parents get from the municipal office after a child is born.

"Birth registration is the first basic human right which the child is entitled to as soon as he or she is born but unfortunately many children, particularly those in a vulnerable situation are existing today without this identity which is their right," says Leena Joshi, director of Apnalaya, an NGO founded in 1972 to help children living in slums lead a better life.

For the last ten months, in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services, Maharashtra, and Executive Health Officer of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, "we have tried our best to help children from M-East ward [a municipal area in Mumbai North-East] to access birth registration and certificates," she says. Many children are still without them.

Street children, children of migrant workers and pavement dwellers and children with disability are some facing this "nowhere" situation, she says.

That is why "we want to draw people's attention to this serious issue of the very existence of these children and are therefore holding a media workshop on Saturday to highlight their problems. "Our focus is to facilitate this process of getting a birth certificate, made difficult for the poor through administrative delays as well as corruption."

According to a study conducted by Nirmala Niketan Institute of the College of Social Work, Mumbai as a whole has approximately 92 per cent registration of birth but eventually only 72 out of 100 children born in hospitals are able to get a birth certificate.

"The level of birth registration of those who are born at home is even worse due to their poor and vulnerable status," says Joshi. It may come as a surprise to many that even in a metropolis like Mumbai, 20-30 per cent of mothers living in slums deliver their babies at home, she says.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.


Indian NGO said...

It feels good to know that a Mumbai based NGO is helping slum children get birth certificates. Birth registration is required for many reasons throughout life…

People for Social Cause said...

Thks for the comment.