chapter  IV
11 Pages

The nature of the compact between the family and society

In Bombay, a fine example of developmental programs for preschool children and families in need is run by the Bombay Mothers' and Children's Welfare Society in a chawl area. The vicious circle of overcrowded large families, low per-capita income, and low educational attainment, keeps the majority of children in conditions which are not conducive to making optimal contributions to society. The responsibility for the child rests squarely on the biological parents. Mass media of all types are being pressed into service, and "campaign days" are allotted for family planning, environmental sanitation, immunizations, solidarity pledges and so on. In many poor homes, the child who becomes blind is kept within his home environs by relatives and friends and is considered a dependent nonproductive family member. The responsibility for child care ranges from the family alone to support from conveniently located organizations. Most parents, especially in traditional settings, are fatalistic about their handicapped children.