April saw the advent of an important day—the International Street Children Day. Observed annually on April 12, this day raises awareness on the plight of millions of street-connected children. In tune with the day, this month saw a few activities, events, initiatives, and news centered around India’s street children. Let’s recapture some of those and a few other pertinent highlights in the April edition of #WhatsInAHeadline

1. Chennai opens its arm to Street Child Cricket World Cup

The second edition of the Street Child Cricket World Cup will take place in Chennai from 20th to 30th September. Organised by Street Child United in partnership with Shree Dayaa Foundation, this tournament is a platform for street children to not only showcase their sporting talent but primarily to also advocate for their rights. Comprising mixed teams of boys and girls, the tournament hosts teams from countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, Mauritius, Mexico, Uganda, Sri Lanka and more.

2. Delhi High Court urges authorities to consider ground realities of children forced to beg

The Delhi High Court reinforced the need to focus on rescue and rehabilitation of children begging on city streets. Highlighting the glaring difference between the “ground reality” and “claims of authorities”, the High Court directed the state government and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights to disclose the steps they took towards eradication of child begging and rescue of those children. This hearing was held after a PIL filed by social activist Ajay Gautam, who also stressed on the dire need of taking stringent steps towards the menace of begging mafia.

3. Doctors warn about heatwave scare for children

As the temperatures soar across the country, with some regions recording more than 42 degree Celsius, doctors are raising alarm bells about the deadly effects of this heatwave on children. In children, heatwave can lead to “dizziness, sweating profusely, nausea/vomiting and muscular cramps. In severe cases, individuals may also face heat strokes resulting in loss of consciousness and seizures”, said Dr Anup Latne, Consultant Internal Medicine, Surya Mother and Child Super Speciality Hospital Pune.

4. India ranks high in vaccination confidence for children

In the flagship report titled The State of the World’s Children 2023: For Every Child, Vaccination, UNICEF declared India as one of the high-ranking countries in vaccination confidence. The report examined ways of strengthening primary health care to support immunization services. The report also looked at at concerns around trust in vaccines and a range of innovations in vaccine development and delivery. India’s commendable rank comes as a reflection Government of India’s political and social commitment and speaks well about one of the largest vaccination drives to have taken place during the pandemic.

5. Online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSEAC) worryingly on the rise

Recently, India has witnessed the worrying rise of online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSEAC). With children spending more time online and perpetrators growing more comfortable with the use of technology, this burgeoning menace is not completely surprising. Increased awareness about these issues has certainly led to higher reporting in urban areas. In rural areas, however, lack of digital literacy among parents and children has made it difficult to detect OSEAC cases. Adversely, it is also peeking its ugly head in cultural factors, with girls being prevented from receiving an education owing to their vulnerability to OSEAC.

6. Delhi Govt’s 35-item kit set to make learning fun for anganwadi centers

Leading the way yet again in innovation in the field of education, Delhi Government introduces a 35-item learning kit for anganwadi centers across the city. These kits are targeted to make learning fun and interactive for children. Paired with these kits, anganwadi workers will also receive training to ensure strong foundational abilities in every child.