Today, India’s population stands at over 1.25 billion people. Of this number, 39% are children. Millions of these boys and girls live on the streets, work in factories, are trafficked as slaves, get married early, or are addicted to drugs. They live outside of the system, braving difficult circumstances simply trying to survive.
They are the reason behind the Plan For Every Child initiative which brings the government and other partners together to implement quality programmes and advocacy to actively transform the lives of marginalised children in India.
Partnerships increase impact
During the 37 years Plan India has operated, our work with children and presence in communities has got stronger. Currently, our programmes empower over a million children to fulfil their potential. By working in partnership we can reach many more.
we have established a network of 30 like-minded partners working towards a common mission
In 2016, to increase the scale and reach of our work through partnerships, we reached out to 500 NGOs and community collectives across 28 states and 4 union territories, gathering government representatives, civil society organisations, technical experts, local communities and the children themselves in a bid to capture their experiences, fears, realities and sheer untapped potential.
Consultations were held across India to help understand the challenges that lay before us and the innovations we could replicate nationally and perhaps globally.
Listening to children’s voices
To encourage children to share their thoughts creatively, we held 5 regional art workshops for boys and girls from vulnerable and excluded communities. There, they created beautiful and moving artwork on the specific challenges they face. In the north-east, children created paintings about violence and their hope for peace while in the south, they focused on the crippling effects of child labour and their hope for a life of dignity.
The Plan For Every Child initiative brought all of these aspirations and innovations together at the first national Conference on Children in Difficult Circumstances held in New Delhi during November 2016. At this meeting, recommendations were made on how to improve the lives of the most marginalised children in India, including the roles that the government, civil society, corporates and the media have to play.
15-year commitment to change
As a result we have established a network of 30 like-minded partners working towards a common mission. This led to the creation of the Delhi Declaration, a 15-year commitment across multiple sectors and spheres of influence to actively transform the lives of children in India.
As we go forward, the voices of children will continue to guide our programming and advocacy. We have also developed state specific trackers to analyse our performance and identify areas for improvement.
With the commitment and sustained investment from all of our partners, we will reach an increasing number of marginalised children and transform their lives, for good.