Orphan and vulnerable children: health policy interventions in India

Journal articles
12 p.
Periodical title
Journal of Health and Development, 4 (1-4), 21-32

This paper reviews and discusses studies and interventions which have addressed the problems and concerns of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in India. Most of the research and commentary on OVC is based on investigations conducted in African countries. Accordingly, this review focuses on OVC in India in order to facilitate further critical discussion and the development of appropriate programmes and policies for the Indian context. The paper shows that HIV/AIDS programmes and interventions are vital to the survival and welfare of OVC but they have reached only a small fraction of the most vulnerable children in India. OVC in India have also failed to receive the attention they deserve in poverty reduction strategies and other national development instruments. The paper suggests a number of measures that government and civil society could take to rectify the problem. These include mobilizing resources for supporting community care rather than institutional care; strengthening the care and coping capacities of families and communities; involving children and youth as active participants; building broad collaboration among key stakeholders in all sectors; and integrating with other prevention, care and support services. The paper also emphasizes the need to learn from the experience and initiatives of other countries in developing appropriate policy and programmes for OVC.

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