N O N - S T A T U T O R Y C H I L D W E L F A R E Mrs. M. J. A R T E * ...
N O N - S T A T U T O R Y C H I L D W E L F A R E
Mrs. M. J. A R T E *
S E R V I C E S IN B O M B A Y CITY :
P E R S P E C T I V E S , P R O B L E M S A N D
P R O G R A M M E S
I . A N O U T L I N E O F T H E P A P E R
(v) R e p o r t s of Bombay M u n i c i p a l Cor-
p o r a t i o n
T h i s is a b a c k g r o u n d p a p e r for the
Seminar on Statutory a n d non-Statutory (vi) Press Cuttings.
Child Welfare Services in Bombay City.
In this p a p e r an a t t e m p t is m a d e to
T h e services u n d e r the Children's Act offer some factual information regarding
would be covered in a n o t h e r paper. H e n c e the services and to point out gaps in the
all the c o m m u n i t y services, social services services. Specific problems have been iden-
as well as social welfare services not cover-
tified a n d the k i n d of efforts t h a t need to
ed u n d e r this Act will be considered in be made by the voluntary organisations,
this p a p e r .
the m u n i c i p a l corporation, the charity
T h e statistical i n f o r m a t i o n presented i n trusts, Social Welfare Board a n d Depart-
this p a p e r has been d r a w n from t h e fol-
m e n t of Social Welfare, have been suggest-
lowing u n p u b l i s h e d materials.
(i) Existing Child Welfare Services in II. T H E CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL POSI-
Greater Bombay (66-67), T . J .
TION O F T H E C H I L D
A r a n h a , Director of Research The Constitution of India declares, that
D e p a r t m e n t , Institute of Social Ser-
the child belongs to the v u l n e r a b l e groups.
vice (School of Social W o r k ) .
T h e directive principles declare the child
(ii) R e p o r t on t h e situation of children a n d youth be protected against exploita-
a n d y o u t h in Greater Bombay, tion a n d m o r a l a n d material a b a n d o n -
Miss M. K h a n d e k a r , Research Asso-
m e n t . T h e C o n s t i t u t i o n requires t h a t
ciate, U n i t for Study of the U r b a n special provision for the welfare of child-
Child a n d Youth, T.I.S.S.
ren should be m a d e . T h e law forbids em-
ployment of children u n d e r 14 years in
(iii) Integrated U r b a n Projects for Chil-
mines, factories a n d hazardous employ-
d r e n a n d Y o u t h in India, D r . S. ments. It requires that provision should
P h a d k e , U N I C E F , India, (Novem-
be m a d e for compulsory education of the
child u n t i l it reaches the age of 14 years.
(iv) A n n u a l R e p o r t s of M a h a r a s h t r a T h e law looks u p o n t h e family as the
State Social Welfare Advisory Board primary agency responsible for the p r o p e r
*Mrs. Apte is Lecturer in the Department of Family and Child Welfare, Tata Insti-
tute of Social Sciences, Bombay 88.
*The author is grateful to Dr. M. S. Gore, Director, T.I.S.S., Mrs. M. M, Desai,
Head, Department of Family and Child Welfare, Miss M. Khandekar, Research
Associate, UNICEF Unit, and Mrs. S. Chitnis, Reader, Sociology of Education
Unit, for their guidance and comments.
MRS. M. J. APTE
upbringing of children. Parents have a of the demographic characteristics of the
natural right to the custody of children child population in the city, to get an idea
and they are responsible for their proper of the services, problems etc.
upbringing. But the law retains the right
to interfere by regulating guardianship, if
the parents are found unfit.
According to law, no child under seven
years of age can be guilty of a criminal
offence. A child between the age of 7 and
12 years cannot be considered guilty of a
criminal offence, unless it is proved that
it has attained emotional maturity. On
the basis of this principle, children under
14 are not considered firstly responsible for
their crimes. Under the Children's Act, the
juvenile delinquents and young offenders
are committed to the certified schools. T h e
law takes care of these in the same way
that it takes care of the orphans, neglected
and destitute children. When children are
found engaged in immoral acts, adults are
T h e child population in Bombay city is
31.7 %2 of the total population, compared
to all India figure of 39% is lower. T h e
III. RELEVANT DATA
percentage of children between the age
group 0-5 and 6-17 is also low
From what has been said so far, it should of migration of adult persons to the city.
be amply clear that the government in
particular and the social welfare agencies
in general are expected to bear a major
share of the responsibility for the welfare
and well being of children. In order to
face this responsibility effectively, it is
necessary to have definite data on the size
and the nature of the juvenile population
involved and to have a clear picture of the
facilities and provisions available for
T h e excessive density of population in
them. T h e fallowing data provide some of the city may be contributing to high
the relevant information.
infant mortality rate. Malnutrition and
poor standard of health condition lead to
It is essential to have a clear perspective the death of children below 1 year.
1 M. Khandekar, A Report on the Situation of Children and Youth in Greater Bom-
bay, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. 1970, p. 20.
2Census of India 1961.
3M. Khandekar, op. cit.,
NON-STATUTORY CHILD WELFARE SERVICES IN BOMBAY CITY
A G E SPECIFIC D E A T H RATE IN BOMBAY4
low in comparison to 50-200 gallons
prevalent in most of the developed coun-
tries. The sewage and drainage systems are
not sufficient. T h e child is constantly ex-
posed to intestinal diseases, T.B. etc. which
is quite high. Health facilities are offered
through Government Hospitals, Private
Charity Hospitals, hospitals under the
E.S.I. Scheme, Port Trust, Railways and
Defence etc. In general there is overcrowd-
ing in the existing hospitals.
Maternal health is an important aspect
of child health. There are 2868 maternity
homes in the city (191 in city and 95 in
suburbs; 53 Municipal and 233 non-muni-
cipal) with 4525 beds. Municipal Mater-
nity homes offer completely free services,
while the maternity homes run by the
Private Maternity Homes are beyond the
It is interesting to note that every fifth reach of the poor class. In 1967, 89.8°
child in Bombay is non-working and non-
registered births have taken place in the
above maternity homes. Thus 10.2% of
the births are still at home without any
According to 1966 figures, the total expert antenatal and postnatal help. The
population of Bombay city is 54 lakhs and suburbs and extended suburbs do not get
there are about 206 slum localities. The adequate medical facilities. Almost all big
official estimate of the slum population is
6,31,000. Approximately 15% of the slum hospitals are in the city concentrating at
population consists of the children. "Thus,
Parel and Byculla areas. These maternal
about 95,000 children below the age of 15 and child health centres, along with other
stay in slum areas.
maternity facilities provide immunisation
6 A large number of
children in these areas live in very un-
against small pox, B.C.G., Polio and
healthy physical and social surroundings. Triple. Small Pox and B.C.G. vaccination
In addition, quite a large number of are commonly given, but the number of
children have to stay on open streets.
children getting Triple and Polio vacci-
nation is limited, as it is a part of post-
DATA ON HEALTH SERVICES
natal care. All mothers do not bring their
In Bombay, per capita water supply babies to maternal and child health
ranges 12-15 gallons
centres. There are many unhealthy prac-
7 per day which is very
7S. Phadke, Integrated Child Welfare.
MRS. M. J. APTE
tices prevailing particularly amongst un-
schools were covered under this scheme.
educated mothers regarding child care. To Follow up is left to the parents. We do
note some of them, young babies are not not know how far these cases are followed
given water due to the fear that the baby up.
will catch cold. When the babies are given
During 1967, 1,01,539 children of muni-
powder milk, bottles and nipples are not cipal primary schools and 9,122 children
cleaned properly. The measures given on of secondary schools were examined by
the milk tins are not followed because of this unit; 82.4% were found defective.
ignorance. Solid food is not introduced at 54.3% of these defective children suffer
proper age. There is a need to introduce from general debility.
education programme for mothers.
DATA ON EDUCATION
Many of the children coming from low
Since last mid century Bombay has
income homes suffer from severe mal-
been an important centre of education in
nutrition. Rising costs of food grains in
the market, low family income, growing India, providing very good facilities for
population, non-availability of milk and education.
ignorance on the part of the parents are
responsible for malnutrition.
The exact number of preprimary
Since 1962-63 Bombay Municipal Cor-
schools in Bombay city is not known. The
poration has been operating a Nutrition figure available with education depart-
Scheme. The Education Department of ment is 113. But according to Mr. Shesh
Bombay Municipal Corporation is run-
Namle there are more than 400 schools
ning a school feeding programme which in the city.
provides 4 biscuits to each of 5 lakhs of
The first preprimary school was started
children, double toned milk to 3 lakhs in Bombay city in 1937. The same school
and peanuts to 1 lakh children. This pro-
also pioneered training college for nursery
gramme is aided by CARE and UNICEF. school teachers. During 65-66 there were
The total cost of this programme is one 11312 preprimary schools in Bombay. The
crore ten lakhs of rupees. There are a few preprimary schools are considered as
other agencies in the city, which also run special schools. Some of them are develop-
milk distribution centres for poor children. ed by Central Social Welfare Board
Many schools including those covered by through its grant-in-aid programme. No
Bombay Municipal Corporation have faci-
standard scales are prescribed for the
lities for medical check up. The Bombay teaching staff. The preprimary education
Municipal School Health Unit has 1810 has not yet become an integrated part of
full time doctors, referral clinics in four the educational system and is usually
general hospitals, a special dental clinic, a regarded as a welfare activity. In case of
referral service for T.B. and a mobile the schools which are having preprimary
health unit. During 1966 2 0 % " of the sections, there is an emphasis on education
children studying in the corporation as part of its total policy.
10Phadke, op. cit.
11Khandekar, op. eit.
NON-STATUTORY C H I L D W E L F A R E SERVICES IN B O M B A Y C I T Y
Only 6 schools in Bombay city have
T h e education is free in all t h e m u n i -
social service d e p a r t m e n t s where t h r o u g h
cipal primary schools
professionally trained social workers case
13. I n 1968, G r e a t e r
Bombay h a d 1012 m u n i c i p a l schools, 170 work a n d counselling services are offered.
aided private schools, 387 recognised b u t All these d e p a r t m e n t s are in the private
u n a i d e d schools. Usually admission to schools. T h e salary of social worker
such schools cannot be refused. T h e r e are does n o t come u n d e r a p p r o v e d expendi-
three different types of schools in Bombay. ture a n d hence t h e schools do n o t get any
Sophisticated private schools have high grant for the workers' salary. T h r o u g h
fees a n d draw students from h i g h e r in-
these d e p a r t m e n t s , some of . the schools
come groups. Bombay M u n i c i p a l Cor-
have e x t e n d e d their activities to the n e a r -
p o r a t i o n r u n s schools with M a r a t h i , Guja-
by M u n i c i p a l a n d the aided schools. In
rati, H i n d i , U r d u , T a m i l , Malayalam, Bombay there are 33 vocational classes in
T e l u g u , K a n n a d a , English a n d Sindhi Municipal schools. Some of the private
media. T h e n u m b e r of children in each schools also provide vocational guidance
class is 55-60, which increases the pressure and counselling.
of work on teachers a n d they are u n a b l e
to provide individual attention. All the
R E C R E A T I O N
schools are r u n in shifts due to the scarcity
In Bombay there is an acute shortage
of accommodation. Students do n o t have of playgrounds. Many schools not having
facilities at h o m e to study a n d the attend-
their own playgrounds are forced to con-
ance is poor d u e to poor economic condi-
duct their physical e d u c a t i o n classes in the
tion of the parents (from some of the class rooms. The recreational place avail-
observations of E d u c a t i o n Officer Bom-
able in Bombay is .29 acres14 p e r t h o u s a n d
b a y ) .
p o p u l a t i o n as against the I n t e r n a t i o n a l
According to the survey conducted by S t a n d a r d of 4 acres per t h o u s a n d popula-
Bombay M u n i c i p a l C o r p o r a t i o n in 1966 it tion. T h e children belonging to lower
was found t h a t a b o u t 12,855 children bet-
income g r o u p s usually have very limited
ween the age of 6-11 were n o t in schools: play facilities. T h e r e are 26415 community
Doing household jobs, looking after youn-
welfare agencies in Bombay, p r o v i d i n g
ger children, non-availability of materials, recreational a n d cultural programmes.
p a r e n t a l apathy, truancy, etc. were given Craft Centres or hobby classes are con-
as some of the reasons.
ducted by 6.5%. Only one g o v e r n m e n t
centre is offering comprehensive facilities
of i n d o o r a n d o u t d o o r play, library, craft,
T h e r e are 611 secondary schools o u t of hobby classes etc. There are 144 welfare
which 117 are night schools. W o r k i n g agencies running children's libraries. A
y o u t h a n d children form the clientele of few well known voluntary organisations
the n i g h t schools.
1 3 Integrated Child Welfare Project — D r . S. Phadke. Note on Primar y Education
in Bombay, Education Department, B.M.C.
14Phadke, op. cit.
15T. J. Arhanha, Study of Child Welfare Agencies in Bombay City.
MRS. M. J. APTE
have mobile libraries and centres in cul-
Children's Little Theatre have been active
turally deprived areas.
in developing films and dramas for child-
Toy library is a very novel idea in this
country. Only one library functions in DATA ON SERVICES FOR THE PHYSICALLY
Bombay. Emphasis on development of
indigenous literature for children is com-
The exact number of the physically
paratively limited, though more readily handicapped children staying in Bombay
available in a city like Bombay.
is not known. But from the information
obtained from the National Sample Survey
conducted in 1960-61, the total number of
persons per thousand is 5.01 in India and
This scheme is sponsored by the Central in Maharashtra 4.00. Approximately there
Social Welfare Board and the Indian are 22,000 to 27,000 physically handicap-
Council for Child Welfare. Children be-
ped persons in Bombay. According to Dr.
longing to lower income groups can take Marfatia's estimate, 3 to 4% population in
advantage of this programme. During India is mentally retarded. This shows
1969,16 150 children from three agencies in that there are thousands of physically and
Bombay took advantage of the scheme.
mentally handicapped persons in Bombay.
A few organisations in the city are now The correct figure of the handicapped
concentrating on development of pro-
children is also not available. But we can
gramme like national and international assume that their number too will be
understanding. Children's Film Show and quite high.
There are very few agencies compared agencies working for the pre-school age
to the number of children who need handicapped child. There is no service
special services. Our day-to-day experience available for this age group. They need
shows that it is very difficult to get to be identified at an early age.
admission in these agencies which are
It is clear from this Table that there is
concentration on medical services and
It is very clear that there are very few social service is neglected.
161969 Report of Maharashtra State Social Welfare Advisory Board.
17Aranha, op. cit,,
NON-STATUTORY C H I L D W E L F A R E SERVICES IN B O M B A Y C I T Y
ACADEMIC EDUCATION PROVIDED BY THESE AGENCIES18
SERVICES FOR C H I L D R E N N E E D I N G SPECIAL
H E L P — C h i l d G u i d a n c e Clinic
T h e r e are 13 child g u i d a n c e clinics in
Bombay city. T h e y offer case work services
to n u m b e r of children. T h e y try to h e l p
c h i l d r e n to solve some of t h e p r o b l e m s
such as truancy, scholastic backwardness,
For further training, children are sent to aggressive behaviour a n d many other
N a t i o n a l Centres of higher t r a i n i n g out-
emotional p r o b l e m s . W h i l e some schools
take advantage of these services, p u b l i c in
T h e r e are very few agencies giving im-
general is n o t aware of the existence of
portance to r e h a b i l i t a t i o n services. Even those clinics. Some of the clinics have
t h e existing services also are generally in started y o u t h counselling a n d g u i d a n c e
the form of work placement. Very little p r o g r a m m e s in n e a r b y schools. Extension
h e l p is offered to enable h i m to rehabili-
activity on the p a r t of these clinics is
tate himself in his own family.
18 Ibid., p. 63.
M R S . M . J . A P T E
SOCIALLY H A N D I C A P P E D CHILDREN
child is slowly breaking. W i t h country's
'present economic condition social assist-
ance p r o g r a m m e s are difficult. In Bombay
A d a p t i o n is the institutionalised practice city, through the grant from Central Social
t h r o u g h which an i n d i v i d u a l belonging by Welfare Board two pilot Foster Care Pro-
b i r t h to one k i n s h i p g r o u p acquires new jects are working. T h e foster family gets
k i n s h i p ties t h a t are equivalent to con-
Rs. 50/- per m o n t h per child. It is ex-
genital ties. T h e practice existed amongst perienced that there are a n u m b e r of
the H i n d u s mainly to provide continuity children, b u t getting matching foster fami-
of family line. B u t t h e chief function of lies is difficult. Foster family day care is
a d o p t i o n in contemporary society is to experimented u n d e r one of the projects.
provide for the care a n d welfare of the
In Bombay city, m o r e a n d m o r e women
child. T h e children b o r n out of wedlock, are going out for work. But unlike the
t h e children of u n m a r r i e d m o t h e r s or Western countries a comprehensive pro-
completely destitute children are given in gramme of the Day Care Centres and
a d o p t i o n . A d o p t i o n t h r o u g h licensed wel-
Creches is n o t developed. In fact, it is one
fare agencies is a new activity in Bombay of the badly needed activities. Under the
a n d the country as a whole, t h o u g h the Factories Act it is compulsory for indus-
customary a d o p t i o n exists. T h e H i n d u tries employing more than 50 women to
A d o p t i o n a n d Succession Act 1956 gives have a Creche. During 1968, there were 74
all the rights as of n a t u r a l child to the factories having Creches in Bombay with
a d o p t e d child. It also provides t h a t un-
1205 children.20 Except these Creches there
m a r r i e d males or females also can a d o p t . are about 7 to 8 Creches run by voluntary
T h e workers have experienced t h a t m o r e welfare organisations. There are a few
boys are in d e m a n d t h a n girls. T h e agency creches run on proprietary lines. There is
has to follow customary laws, in case of a need to start these services at community
all other communities. Social stigma is level. T h e Reports of Administration of
still attached to the child of u n m a r r i e d the Factories Act have repeatedly stressed
m o t h e r . T h e agencies d o n o t have ade-
t h a t t h e female employees c a n n o t take t h e
q u a t e legal protection.
advantage of these creches d u e to the dif-
ficulty of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n (p. 18 of t h e 1962
FOSTER C A R E
R e p o r t , p. 17 of 1950 report, p. 21 of 1963
r e p o r t a n d p. 27 of 1965 r e p o r t ) . T h e
Foster Family Care is a temporary place-
agencies can start such a p r o g r a m m e , if
m e n t of the child. It helps the p a r e n t s to the State grants are made available for
m a i n t a i n or to improve the quality of care building construction and the Housing
given to the child. It can be used u n d e r Boards reserve accommodation which can
the circumstances of Family stress, such as, be used for the purpose. It should be noted
long illness of either of the parents, con-
t h a t this type of service is i n a d e q u a t e for
finement, e d u c a t i o n a l needs of the child middle class groups which have capacity
etc. It can also be effectively used as a p a r t
to pay for it.
of adoptive service. T h e j o i n t family which
was taking care of all such needs of the
U n d e r t h e special schemes for slums,
20Khandekar, op. cit.,
NON-STATUTORY C H I L D W E L F A R E SERVICES IN B O M B A Y C I T Y
the C e n t r a l Social Welfare B o a r d has of private agencies are working in slum
sanctioned one integrated pre-school-pro-
areas. T h e y conduct nursery schools,
ject. As a p a r t of this scheme a day care sahayog kendras, milk distribution centres,
centre is r u n for the children living in a etc. T h e exact n u m b e r of agencies work-
slum area in the city. T h e m i n i m u m ing in these areas is n o t k n o w n . Services
s t a n d a r d of care, a n d supervision w o u l d are offered either free or charged n o m i n a l
be needed, for all creches other t h a n those fees. A p a r t from these activities t h e follow-
coming u n d e r Factories' Act of 1948.
ing special schemes are started.21 T h e
scheme of u r b a n project is being sponsor-
U n d e r I n s t i t u t i o n a l Care, the work done
ed in Bombay by C e n t r a l Social Welfare
by Sneha Sadan needs recognition. T h e s e
Board since 1958. At present two projects
are small homes situated in the h e a r t of
are w o r k i n g . It is significant t h a t one of
slum areas. T h o u g h institutions, they a r e
the two projects was able to carry ante-
small homes with only house parents. T h e
n a t a l a n d postnatal services. T h e r e are n o
I n d i a Sponsorship C o m m i t t e e , Bombay,
creches in t h e b o t h , Balwadi activities
organises the sponsorship p r o g r a m m e in
seem to have got better a t t e n t i o n .
I n d i a . T h e r e are 10 agencies engaged in
this p r o g r a m m e . U p t o end of 1969 the INTEGRATED PRE-SCHOOL CHILD WELFARE
committee has sponsored 301 children; out
S C H E M E
of these 167 were in Bombay. T h e spon-
sorship committee does t h o r o u g h investiga-
T h e scheme is being i m p l e m e n t e d as
tions a n d assesses the needs of i n d i v i d u a l r e c o m m e n d e d by C h i l d Care C o m m i t t e e .
families. H e r e also there a r e difficulties. T h e scheme aims to provide all basic
In the absence of social assistance schemes, amenities to the children below 6 years of
the workers have to d e p e n d m o r e on age. It includes p r o g r a m m e s such as (1)
Balwadis, (2) Creches, (3) Play Centres,
private funds. T h e committee a t present
takes Rs. 365 per year per child from spon-
(4) Infant H e a l t h Centres, (5) W e l l Baby
sors.. It is difficult for an average I n d i a n Clinics, (6) Children's Clubs, (7) N u t r i -
to participate a n d h e l p in this p r o g r a m m e tion Programmes, (8) Mothers Clubs, (9)
unless the yearly a m o u n t is reduced. A n t e n a t a l a n d Postnatal Services; a n d
Secondly, the age limit is 16. T h e child
(10) Family P l a n n i n g . Pilot project has
also has to secure good marks. For a child been sanctioned to one of the agencies in
staying in a slum it is difficult to com-
plete his education u p t o S.S.C. before the
N U T R I T I O N P R O G R A M M E
age of 16 securing good marks. T h i s will
keep a child studying in adverse condi-
Recently N u t r i t i o n P r o g r a m m e is in
tions away from the scheme.
troduced in slum areas. 100 children in
18 slum areas will get slices of b r e a d and
SPECIAL SERVICES FOR SLUM CHILDREN
milk daily. T h i s scheme is applicable to
Everyday migrants are coming to Bom-
the children below the age of 6 years, n o t
bay city for employment. T h e r e are a b o u t covered u n d e r school n u t r i t i o n pro-
95,000 children staying in slums. N u m b e r g r a m m e .
21 Report 1970 of Maharashtr a State Social Welfare Advisory Board.
221969 — Annual Report of Maharashtr a Stat e Social Welfare Advisory Committee.
M R S . M . J . A P T E
STUDY R O O M S
employed in Welfare Agencies d e p e n d
mostly on the financial position of the
Study rooms, mainly r u n by voluntary agency. There are no fixed scales for vari-
organisation, aim at p r o v i d i n g suitable ous categories of workers. Most of the
place for studies at n i g h t in most of the agencies do not have satisfactory service
deprived localities which are poorly light-
a n d working conditions. D u e to this situ-
ed a n d there is lack of privacy a n d quiet.
ation, there is a constant t u r n over of staff
IV. T H E STAFFING O F SERVICES — G A P S I N
members. T h e r e are m a n y workers, w h o
T H E SERVICES AND SOME SUGGESTIONS
are u n t r a i n e d . T h e r e is no a r r a n g e m e n t
for the t r a i n i n g of these workers. T h e r e
Generally, in all government a n d volun-
is a need to organise t r a i n i n g courses for
tary agencies we find t h a t there is over-
all the staff members working at lower
crowding. All needy do n o t get t h e requir-
levels in agencies.
ed services. T h e r e is high pressure of work
on the workers. T h e agencies have often to
sacrifice the quality of work because of the
M a n y agencies in Bombay city are
q u a n t i t y . M a n y of the agencies c a n n o t managed by Voluntary Welfare Organisa-
offer t h e services to the level of m i n i m u m
tions. F o r some services t h e N a t i o n a l
standards as r e c o m m e n d e d by Dr. Bulsara's
H e a d q u a r t e r s of the C o o r d i n a t i n g Agen-
Committee ( G r a n t in aid code committee,
Central Social Welfare Board, N e w D e l h i ) .
cies are in Bombay ( N a t i o n a l Association
Very few agencies are in a position to offer for the Blind, I n d i a n Council for Social
specialised services. Some of t h e services Welfare, I n d i a n Association of M e n t a l
such as counselling are n o t yet started H y g i e n e ) . Some of these fields get expert
t h o u g h a small b e g i n n i n g has been m a d e services from t h e well k n o w n workers in
by a few voluntary welfare agencies.
the field. Voluntary workers share a lot of
responsibility at administrative level. In a
S T A F F
developing country like ours, for m a n y
more years to come these workers will have
T h e general picture of the staff work-
to play an i m p o r t a n t role in child welfare
ing in welfare agencies is n o t c o m m o n .
agencies for the h a n d i c a p p e d children activities. So they also need o r i e n t a t i o n .
have comparatively better staff. T h e agen-
T h i s will enable t h e m to locate new needs,
cies for the b l i n d have qualified super-
make t h e m aware of the new develop-
i n t e n d e n t s . All agencies working for ortho-
m e n t s in the social welfare services in the
paedically h a n d i c a p p e d get expert medical developed countries a n d a d o p t t h e m to
a n d paramedical services, t h r o u g h very the needs a n d conditions in o u r country.
highly qualified staff. B u t they do not have
properly qualified recreational personnel
as well as the vocational personnel. In
Many agencies m a i n t a i n the records
m a n y of the c o m m u n i t y centres, the agen-
r e q u i r e d by the g r a n t giving bodies such
cies have to d e p e n d on unqualified staff. as C e n t r a l Social Welfare Board, Bombay
T h e School Social Service D e p a r t m e n t s M u n i c i p a l C o r p o r a t i o n or G o v e r n m e n t of
a n d C h i l d G u i d a n c e Clinics h a v e qualified M a h a r a s h t r a . B u t in general, the quality
staff. Secondly, the salaries of personnel of records m a i n t a i n e d is i n a d e q u a t e .
NON-STATUTORY C H I L D W E L F A R E SERVICES IN B O M B A Y C I T Y
locate the gaps in the existing services.
T h e Bombay M u n i c i p a l C o r p o r a t i o n , T h e gaps can be of various types. N o n -
the C e n t r a l Social Welfare Board a n d availability of p a r t i c u l a r service, inade-
G o v e r n m e n t of M a h a r a s h t r a are the three quacy of coverage, the gap between avail-
major g r a n t giving agencies. Agencies do ability of service a n d use of it can be some
get financial h e l p from these bodies. B u t of them. Suggestions, wherever indicated,
there is no c o m m o n code evolved by the are primarily for the purpose of stimulat-
three bodies. Agencies find it difficult to ing discussions.
send applications a n d accompanying state-
ments to various organisations. M a n y of
the agencies, particularly where the staff 1. C o m p a r e d to the n u m b e r of children
members are not highly educated, find it between t h e age g r o u p 3 a n d 6, there are
difficult to s u b m i t all i n f o r m a t i o n repeat-
very few nursery schools in the city. Most
edly. T h e y have to d e p e n d on private of the nursery schools are r u n by private
donations. T h e r e are a n u m b e r of trusts organisations. T h e r e are n o m u n i c i p a l
in Bombay. A part of the financial require-
nursery schools. T h u s , a large n u m b e r of
m e n t s has to be m e t from charity drives children staying in slums, t h e backward
a n d private donations. M a n y trusts are class children a n d o t h e r children belong-
sectarian a n d t h e i r funds are not m a d e i n g to culturally deprived classes c a n n o t
available to an agency, if it does n o t come get the advantage of pre-school education.
in their purview. T h i s leads to non-utilisa-
It is a recognised fact t h a t child's basic
tion of available resources. Many trusts personality is shaped d u r i n g these years of
give ad hoc financial h e l p w i t h o u t any life. T h e question of organising this ser-
plan of c o n t i n u e d activity with them.
vice needs to be considered by the seminar.
Secondly, t h e nursery school education is
considered as a welfare activity a n d n o t
an integrated p a r t of total e d u c a t i o n a l
M a n y of the agencies have to limit their
system as a whole. T h e discussion on h o w
activities for t h e lack of p r o p e r accom-
to m a k e it a p a r t of total e d u c a t i o n a l
m o d a t i o n . Some of the agencies conduct
system is w o r t h considering.
their activities in r e n t e d buildings, which
a r e n o t suitable for the type of activities 2. Government of Maharashtra gives
they are conducting; for example, some of scholarships to the children belonging to
t h e nursery schools, private creches, a n d the low income families, with the income
children's libraries are conducted in two of Rs. 2,400 per year. In view of the grow-
room blocks of residential chawls. T h e y do ing prices, is this adequate? Moreover, lot
not have any facility for o u t d o o r activities.
of e x p e n d i t u r e is involved for books,
O n e of the residential homes for young
girls is just amidst the m a r k e t a n d bazar clothes a n d other e d u c a t i o n a l e q u i p m e n t s .
area with cinema studios a r o u n d . M a n y of W h o should meet this r e q u i r e m e n t ? C a n
the agencies in slum areas do not have there be a further way o u t to h e l p t h e
p r o p e r physical structure available.
child in low income families? It is also
felt necessary to have a follow up service
G A P S IN SERVICES
to see t h a t the m o n e y is properly utilised.
In this section an a t t e m p t is m a d e to H o w can this be achieved?
MRS. M. J. APTE
3. The problem of school drop-outs is morbidity rates in the children between
quite serious. Non availability of bare 0 to 6. In the light of the expanding child
necessities of life, inadequate housing, population the existing health services are
taking job at a very early age of life, res-
still limited. Family Planning activity
ponsibility to take care of the younger emphasizing small family norm is very
siblings, if mothers are working are some necessary. Mothers' education programme
of the factors contributing to school drop seems very important for the child's health.
out. Supply of mid-day meals, nutrition Nutrition education, family life education,
programmes have been started to improve population education, and health educa-
the health of school children as well as to tion will be the areas to be covered under
reduce the drop out rate. Here also the the mothers' education programme. The
question of follow up is worth considering. matter of coordination in Family Planning
It is also desirable to discuss the possibili-
programmes needs our attention.
ties of help from voluntary welfare agen-
cies to encourage these children to con-
7. Bombay Municipal Corporation has
tinue their education. For boys, there are appointed social workers in Municipal
night schools available. Can the women's Hospitals. There are no social workers in
organisation help the girls dropping out Municipal Maternity Homes. Appoint-
ment of social workers in the Municipal
Maternity Homes, and Municipal School
4. Only six schools in Bombay are having Health Service is equally essential. Use of
school social service departments. There is social workers in the prenatal and post-
no such department in a municipal school. natal services, at development of parents'
If the Municipal Schools can have a net-
education at community level can be dis-
work of school social service organised cussed here.
through the Education Department of the
municipality under the guidance of the
professionally trained social workers, the 8. Earlier, it has been indicated that
problem of drop outs, slow learners, there are a number of agencies running
parent's education, can be tackled by play centres. They are inadequate in cover-
them. An exceptionally intelligent child age. Very few agencies are having well
can be identified and helped to make use equipped personnel to handle these acti-
of other community services to enable him vities. Will it be possible to create a good
to develop his full capacities. The financial cadre of recreational workers? Is it possible
and administrative implications of such a to mobilise volunteer force through the
step may be considered.
young students of schools and colleges?
5. At present there are only a few orga-
9. With increasing emphasis on formal
nisations to help gifted child and/or and informal education of the child and
exceptionally intelligent child. Will it be the family, the need for indigenous litera-
possible to consider a few programmes for ture, films, theatre, etc. is felt. What role
the social workers can play in stimulating
and sustaining such activities may be
6. There are very high mortality and worth considering.
NON-STATUTORY C H I L D W E L F A R E SERVICES IN B O M B A Y C I T Y
role. T h e y spend crores of rupees on edu-
10. T h e p r o b l e m of starting Creches a n d cation a n d h e a l t h of the child. B u t it has
Day Care Centres as a p a r t of c o m m u n i t y no d e p a r t m e n t to take care of welfare
child welfare services also needs careful activities. T h e possibilities a n d difficulties
in the development of such a d e p a r t m e n t
may be worth considering.
11. T h o u g h the exact n u m b e r of t h e
h a n d i c a p p e d children in Bombay city is
T h e E d u c a t i o n D e p a r t m e n t can evaluate
not known, a large n u m b e r of h a n d i c a p -
the work done by special schools such as
ped children are n o t covered u n d e r the the school for b e d r i d d e n children, school
existing services. Non-institutional Care for children in n e e d for special care etc.
a n d Services are very few. W h i l e institu-
T h e y should encourage m o r e special wings
tional care is absolutely necessary for to cover m o r e children u n d e r such pro-
severely h a n d i c a p p e d child, Day Schools grammes. T h e e x p e r i m e n t of school social
also are required. T h o u g h there is an work also needs special a t t e n t i o n of the
emphasis on offering medical a n d para-
E d u c a t i o n D e p a r t m e n t . A few v o l u n t a r y
medical services, social work services are organisations have pioneered education
absent. Should it be developed? If so, how? for special groups, such as the school for
T h e question of developing special faci-
b e d r i d d e n children, school for children in
lities for care, protection a n d education of
need of special care etc. H o w far this can
the c h i l d r e n of the leprosy patients needs be considered a purely welfare activity?
special consideration. D u e to the social S h o u l d such an effort n o t become a p a r t
stigma attached to leprosy, the n o r m a l of total e d u c a t i o n a l system? For this, a
children of people suffering from leprosy careful evaluation may be necessary.
are greatly h a n d i c a p p e d in m a k i n g use of
It is felt t h a t for r u r a l areas, the scheme
the c o m m u n i t y facilities. T h e question of of Family and Child Welfare Projects is
providing special protection a n d rehabili-
already functioning. T h e same scheme
t a t i o n services for these children poses a
should be m a d e applicable to u r b a n slums.
U n d e r this scheme, a lot of emphasis is
T h e r e are 13 child guidance clinics. O u t laid on the education of mothers. T h e r e
of 13 clinics only one clinic is located in are a few agencies already working in these
s u b u r b a n area. Even d i s t r i b u t i o n a n d areas. A large scale programme alone will
p r o p e r coordination of such services is help the slum child to enable himself to
extremely necessary to meet the needs of take advantage of educational facilities.
such children in different localities. T h e There is a need to start a crash programme
role of existing clinics in developing such immediately. The agencies like Lions
programmes needs to be discussed.
C l u b , R o t a r y C l u b a n d Bombay J u n i o r
PARTICIPATION O F BOMBAY M U N I C I P A L C h a m b e r can play a very i m p o r t a n t role
by h e l p i n g ad hoc activities co-ordinated
It will be seen from the discussion of by the B.M.C. with the h e l p of Social Wel-
t h e services p e r t a i n i n g to e d u c a t i o n , fare D e p a r t m e n t as proposed above. A
health, a n d recreation t h a t Bombay M u n i -
lot of v o l u n t a r y h e l p seems possible for
cipal C o r p o r a t i o n plays a very i m p o r t a n t the benefit of the slum child. Activities for
MRS. M. J. APTE
the slum child should be started on a city, many experienced professionally
larger scale without much delay.
trained social workers are available. Their
services can be used to start with if the
It has been made compulsory to register
all welfare agencies under the charitable Board has any difficulties to get suitable
trusts act or Registration of Societies Act. qualified mature counsellors. Creation of
All agencies and trusts are registered. The such a unit will enable many developing
charity commissioner here can play an agencies to get proper guidance right in
important part in pooling the financial the beginning, which will help them to
resources of the trusts to expand or sustain avoid many of the errors arising out of
specific child welfare activities. Some of ignorance.
the trusts can be motivated to utilise their
If all the activities are to be strengthen-
funds for orientation and proper training ed, financial problem is likely to crop up.
of field workers.
It is suggested that to overcome this prob-
There is a need to develop Field Coun-
lem a child welfare cess be levied on the
selling Service as early as possible. Central lines of Education Cess. Large funds can
Social Welfare Board be requested to take be made available for child activities
immediate steps in this regard. In Bombay through the income from this cess.