UNICEF’s Flagship State of the World Children Report 2012, says urbanisation is leaving billions of children in cities across the world excluded from vital services. More than 50 per cent of the world’s population today lives in urban areas. Of these, one billion are children, devoid of any semblance of decent living.
In India, 377 million live in the urban centers. Out of them, 97 million are urban poor (the lowest 25 per cent section) as per Census 2011 data. An estimated 535 million will live in towns by 2026. This would be 40 per cent of India’s population.
The differential between urban non poor and urban poor children is huge. For instance, more urban poor children below five are underweight than rural children in the same group. While 47 per cent urban poor kids are underweight, 46 per cent rural are underweight as against 33 per cent urban children.
There is a shocking, 13-point difference in the Infant Mortality Rates among urban non poor and urban poor children; 54 per cent more infants die in urban poor families.
That’s not all, 20 per cent more children are anaemic among urban poor than among the urban non poor and one in every two children among the urban poor is underweight.
Even on health services, the access of urban poor is shockingly low with one in two women managing safe deliveries and 6 in every 10 being anaemic (more than in rural areas).