Eunuchs to promote benefits of birth registration

The social networking skills of eunuchs in the national capital have caught the eye of social activists, who plan to use them to spread the message of the benefits of birth registration of newborns.

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 12:58 PM IST

New Delhi: The social networking skills
of eunuchs in the national capital have caught the eye of social activists, who plan to use them to spread the message of the benefits of birth registration of newborns.

Delhi-based NGOs, Chetna and Plan India, who work for
the welfare of children, have approached the eunuch community
in Chuna Bhatti area in West Delhi as a part of their project
`Universal Birth Registration`.

"The project deals with such children who are
officially invisible. That means who do not have any identity
to prove their birth. The purpose of this project is to
spread awareness about the benefits of birth registration
among families in this area. They have strong local
connections which will be handy for us to use," says Sanjay
Gupta, Executive Director, Chetna.

One of the challenges faced by social activists is to
locate families having newborn babies because of the
geographical limitations in the urban slums.

"Eunuchs can be one of our stakeholders because of
their strong information capability about the birth of a
child. Their blessings are treated as sacred and we believe
that if they spread the message of birth registration, that
will have more impact on the parents," says Gupta.

Songs and pamphlets to promote the message will be
designed as the part of the project and if it proves
successful, than it will be expanded to other parts of the
national capital. According to rules, a child should be
registered within the first 21 days after birth or at least
within a year. There is a legal process to be followed after
that to get the birth registered.

Lilly Vishwanathan, Advocacy Manager, Plan India says
even though the Delhi government claims birth registration
around hundred per cent, a lot of families from outside Delhi
come to the capital for deliveries of their babies as well.

"The situation is not upto the mark in slum
communities and vulnerable groups. There is lack of awareness
among them and since most of their births take place at home,
they are not able to prove it when officials ask for proof,"
she says.

According to a study conducted by these two NGOs
earlier in the slum areas, 1250 households were surveyed in
Delhi, in which only 14 per cent children were reported having
birth certificates.

"A birth certificate is a ticket to citizenship.

Without one, an individual does not officially exist and
therefore lacks legal access to the privileges and protections
of a nation. Civil registration is also the basic tool by
which an efficient government counts its citizens and plans
the schools, health centres and other services they need. We
hope things will change slowly and it is a good step," says
Gupta.

PTI