New Delhi, February 10, 2016: CRY – Child Rights and You, a leading child rights NGO in India, have launched the “Joy of Five” campaign across the country to ensure children in the age group of 2-5 years have access to their basic rights and get a fair chance at a happy and healthy childhood.
The first five years are a crucial period in a child’s life. These years lay the foundation for children’s growth as 80% of the brain development takes place in this age. An emphasis on proper and effective nutrition, health care and education in this period is not only important but necessary.
In India, millions of children do not celebrate their fifth birthday as they are deprived of these basic rights in early childhood. Vaccine preventable diseases are still responsible for over 5 lakh deaths annually in India. 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).
Susan Varghese, Head, CRY Global Operations says: “The age 2-5 years is a phase of maximum vulnerability as deprivation can seriously impact a child’s health, and learning potential. Inadequate nutrition and healthcare leads to many children not being able to reach the critical milestone of 5 years. With this campaign we are highlighting the importance of children being able to celebrate their fifth birthday and the urgent need to overcome hurdles to ensure that they do.”
“CRY believes that a preventive approach, working in tandem with the community and local authorities remains imperative to address this issue. Along with our project partners, CRY works towards ensuring the local public healthcare and the Angandwadi centres have the necessary infrastructure and qualified health workers to provide effective delivery of quality maternal and child health care,” she added.
With the campaign, CRY will reach out to 2,50,532 children in the age group of 2-5 across its project areas and work to make sure they reach the 5th birthday milestone.