India registers 68% births in 5 years

A campaign by govt, NGOs and UNICEF has resulted in 68% of births registered in past 5 years.

Updated: Sep 03, 2010, 20:40 PM IST

New Delhi: A sustained five year campaign involving the government, a chain of NGOs and UNICEF has resulted in 68 per cent of births being registered in the country.

The second report of Plan India`s Universal Birth
Registration Campaign `Count every child, as every child
counts`, unveiled today, indicated that over 85 per cent
children were registered within 21 days of the launch of the
scheme in all the target areas.

The scheme focused on certain districts in states like
Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and two cities Mumbai and
Delhi.

Rajasthan emerged leader in the campaign with registration
level increasing from 63.5 per cent to 84.7 per cent because
of numerous innovative ideas implemented in the state like
public hearing on the subject, said Deputy Registrar General
of India, Bhaskar Mishra.

Highlighting some of the achievements of the five-year
campaign, representatives of Plan India, the organisation that
initiated the campaign said communities were now aware of the
value of birth registration. Many "invisible" children,
vulnerable to exploitation now have an identity and are part
of national statistics, they said.

The report also points out several challenges that still
need to be addressed especially frequent elections in all
states preventing government authorities from devoting
adequate time for registration duties and administrative
hurdles.

The campaign, which has been extended for a year, will now
focus on Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which have been identified as
states that lack basic infrastructure and planning in the area
of birth and death registration.

UNICEF representative R G Mitra said he was happy with the
response the campaign generated but said there was a need for
more donor support.

"UNICEF fund for the project is 900,000 USD which mainly
is towards use of technology, infrastructure and evaluation of
the projects," he said.

Mitra said sex ratio at birth can be easily tracked if the CRS process is done timely and systematically.
He cited Delhi`s example and said the CRS was done very
effectively in the capital but the data collected was not used
properly.
Referring to the `ladli (girl)` scheme of the Delhi
government, he said statistics derived from its implementation
were "incorrect" as they showed an increase in the birth of
the girl child just because of the incentives offered to the
parents to approach authorities to register the births.

PTI