Illustration by Nate Kitch

The month of March packed in a host of crucial conversations around both physiological and mental health of children. With the World Water Day observed last month, there was much needed discourse about urgent water conservation and the impact of poor water quality on the health of children. In the March edition of #WhatsInAHeadline, we take a look at some of the striking coverage that sheds light on not only the aforementioned topics, but also on those that paint a picture of rescue operations, educational statistics and inventions of robots alike.

Michael Kremer, 2019’s Nobel Laureate (Economics), emphasizes the need for clean water for children’s health and India’s growth.

“Water treatment will save millions of Indian children and boost India’s growth”, said Noble Laureate Michael Kremer at a knowledge sharing session held recently. With a macro focus on improved public health in India, the economist lauded the Indian Government’s measures towards deworming programs and delivering safe piped water. In the same breath, he initiated dialogue about the importance of investments in water treatments.

Adenovirus outbreak strikes West Bengal grips children

The outbreak of Adenovirus sent the health ministry spiralling, especially after the death of nineteen children in West Bengal. The state’s healthcare system is seen struggling to cope with the pediatrics wards running full. The infection affects the eyes, stomach and respiratory organs.

Opportunities for play diminish, affecting children’s’ mental health

According to a recent research published in the Journal of Pediatrics, toddlers and teenagers alike are facing anxiety and depression due to drastically reduced playtime. Owing to fewer opportunities of abandoned play and activity, especially in the absence of adult supervision, children are slipping away from meaningful school-life and towards a challenging social-life.

UP, Bihar and Gujarat are home to the highest number of out-of-school children

The Ministry of Education has reported that 9.30 lakh elementary-level children are not enrolled in schools in India. The highest number of Out of School Children (OoSC) is seen in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Bihar and Gujarat. The report also noted that more boys (5.02 lakh) than girls (4.27 lakh) are out of school.

Child labourers rescued from Jahangirpuri, Delhi

Twenty-three children, working in three different factories, in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri region were rescued by police personnel. Originally hailing from UP and Bihar, these children aged between 13 and 16 years were trafficked to the metropolis after the lockdown. They were rescued from hazardous industries such as manufacture of inverter parts and steel production.

Muskurata Bachpan Task Force rescues 15 minors from Ludhiana railway station

Upon receiving a tip-off, a team of police personnel, GRP and child rights activists rescued 15 minors at the Ludhiana railway station as a part of the Muskurata Bachpan campaign. While beginning with the process of reuniting the children with their families, the police are also actively probing the incident, looking into the web of perpetrators at the helm.

Mumbai high schoolers come together for a challenging robotics competition

Devoting more than 50 hours a week and learning advanced technical skills, a group of 13 schoolgoers from Mumbai came together to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge—a renowned robotics competition. Having first displayed their astounding robot across multiple states, the children are an exemplar of ingenuity with the support of right infrastructure and quality formal education.