India’s children and the brave new world 1
This chapter discusses the perspectives and issues around the politics of childhood in India today, with the focus on the impact of the neoliberal paradigm on both the Indian society and the discourse on child’s rights, specifically regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The chapter attempts to link the policy changes at the macro level, both internationally and nationally, to the worlds of Indian children. The chapter is divided into five sections; the first deals with childhood studies, the discourse on child’s rights and the children of the periphery, while the second contextualises the politics of childhood today, by focusing on the polarisation that has characterised social development and policies; the third section focuses on child deprivation, household poverty and systemic deprivation and the fourth section titled the divided world of Indian childhood foregrounds diversity, caste and gender in Indian childhood. The fifth section analyses the policy perspectives of the Indian state, with special focus on certain critical issues regarding Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).