Share This Article:

Social determinants of health—Street children at crossroads

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:91KB) PP. 634-643
DOI: 10.4236/health.2012.49100    5,794 Downloads   8,084 Views   Citations
Author(s)    Leave a comment

ABSTRACT

1The term “street children” has been used inter changeably with “children in especially difficult circumstances” in the remaining document. This paper discusses the findings of a research project which is an exploratory cum descriptive study [1] that aims to describe and examine the state and nature of the quality of life of street children accommodated at an unorganised colony in the city of Delhi. It provides a social profile of children and their families, and exploring the needs and aspirations of these children living in especially difficult circumstances. A non-probability sample of 100 street children in the age group of 5-16 years was randomly selected guided by their availability. An interview schedule was constructed and administered to gather data. The statistical analyses comprised frequencies and percentages on all the sections of the interview schedule. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data from open-ended questions and observations. Case studies were supportive in giving an insight into the lives of children living in especially difficult circumstances. Findings suggest that the quality of life of the participants in this study was depressed due to a lack of access or substandard educational and medical facilities, or absence of emotional support from their poverty stricken families. The existing limited programmes by the government or the civil society for the welfare of street children are lacking in their focus and do not include the voices and needs of the beneficiaries. Although service providers expressed sympathy for street children, many regarded them as deviants, delinquents, future criminals, and a public nuisance. Based on the findings, it has been suggested that the street child phenomenon necessitates a partnership between governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide for policy and legislation, funding and resources to translate programs into concrete plans of action. It has further been argued that such an approach should extend to children using their resourcefulness and creativity, and show that they can be significant in development interventions. Children illustrate both the need for participatory approaches and the problems that arise when perceptions of participants conflict with those of experts.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gupta, A. (2012) Social determinants of health—Street children at crossroads. Health, 4, 634-643. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.49100.

References

[1] Garg, A. (2002) An exploratory study of street children in Sangam Vihar. M.Phil Dissertation, Unpublished, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
[2] Qadeer, I. (1988) Health service system in India: An expression of socio-economic inequalities. The Great Concern, 1, 3-8.
[3] Banerji, D. (1981) Poverty, class and health culture in India, New Delhi, Prachi Prakashan. In: Shah, P., Ed., Child Labour, a Threat to Health and Development, Defence for Children International, Geneva.
[4] Nangia, P. (1987) Child labour, cause effect syndrome. Janak Publishers, New Delhi.
[5] Sondhi, P. (1989) Psychological profile of street children. Unpublished, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi.
[6] Reddy, N. (1992) Street children of Bangalore: A situational analysis. Child Labour Series, National Labour Institute, Noida.
[7] Ghosh, A. (1992) Street children of Calcutta. Child Labour Series, National Labour Institute, Noida.
[8] Pandey, R. (1993) Street children of Kanpur: A situational analysis. Child Labour Series, National Labour Institute, Noida.
[9] Bose, A.B. (1992) The disadvantaged urban child in India. Florence, UNICEF, International Child Development Centre, Italy.
[10] Arimpoor, J. (1992) Street children of Madras: A situational analysis. National Labour Institute, Noida.
[11] Philips, W. (1992) Street children of Indore. Child Labour Series, National Labour Institute, Noida.
[12] Verma, S. and Dhingra, G. (1993) Who do they belong to? A profile of street children in Chandigarh. People’s Action Journal, 8, 22-25.
[13] D’Lima and Gosalia, R. (1992) Street children of Bombay: A situational analysis. Child Labour Series, National Labour Institute, Noida.
[14] Mohan, S. (1990) Street children: An urban phenomenon. Social Welfare, 3.
[15] Aggarwal, K. (2002) Street Children the Cities of India. CANCL News Newsletter, 1, 2.
[16] Fox, E.R. and Roth, L. (1989) Children of homeless families: Health status and access to health care. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 506, 141-151. doi:10.1177/0002716289506001013

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.