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Puppetry to raise awareness among street kids

New Delhi: The children living in street situation are vulnerable to the diseases which spread when they indulge in hazardous work or sleep on the street. Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) through puppet shows will be reaching out to these children for administering Hepatitis B vaccine to them.

As per child rights body, they will use a child-friendly way to aware kids regarding the disease and puppetry can positively raise children's confidence and educate them about the hazardous disease. "Children are afraid of injections so through puppet shows we will try to raise awareness regarding the importance of injection," said Roop Sudesh Vimal from child rights body.

The DCPCR had mapped children living in street situation. The child rights body data claimed that as many as 2,775 children under age group (0-3 years), 8,129 under (3-6 years), 46,848 under (6-14 years) and more than 12,000 children under 15-18 years were found living on the streets of Delhi.

Recently, DCPCR with the help of an NGO organized several awareness camps in slums where more than 400 children attended the programme and 79 children under different age groups were vaccinated.

The standard operating procedure (SOP) of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in association with a Delhi-based NGO on care and protection of children in street situations says that most street children work 5-8 hours daily on an average. Long working hours, drudgery and exhaustion are some of the reasons that force the children towards drugs.

The SOP added that injury and illness are common among the street children. Diarrhoea, loose motions, viral fever, food poisoning are common illness caused and are aggravated by consumption of unsafe drinking water, lack of personal hygiene and open defecation.

They live in unhygienic conditions, beacuse of which they suffer from chronic health problems like asthma and dysentery. Being on the street also gives them easy access to drugs, alcohol and tobacco, hence such children are prone to substance abuse also,"

reads the SOP.

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