Vulnerable Groups in India - Children and Senior Citizens

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in India. Due to myriads of reasons they are considered vulnerable since they are always down with diseases, lack of education which puts them in perpetual poverty. Some of the reasons behind their vulnerability are listed below.

  1. Poverty – Children reeling under poverty always face a health crisis due to lack of access to healthcare facilities.
  2. Vaccination – India has the highest number of deaths of children under 5 years of age. These deaths could be prevented through the administration of vaccines.
  3. Nutrition – Although India is a rising economic power, more than 30% of the world’s malnutrition children live in India. Economic inequality is the major cause of this problem.
  4. Street Children – Any child living in the streets as a source of livelihood. 
  5. Female infanticide – The definition is the killing of children in the age group 0 – 1 year. The reason behind its existence is poverty, dowry system, lack of support services etc.
  6. Trafficking of Children – Various reasons for trafficking of children are begging, labour, sexual exploitation. As per the National Crime Records Bureau India has one of the highest volumes of child trafficking.
  7. Child labour – Some of the industries where child labour is prevalent is the diamond industry, fireworks manufacturing industry, silk manufacturing, carpet weaving, domestic labour, mining industries. Some of the laws enacted by the Government to tackle child labour are the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. 

Aspirants would find this topic helpful for the IAS Exam.

The Vulnerability of Children – Government Schemes to Overcome this Problem

The Government of India has been earnestly trying to overcome the vulnerabilities faced by the children in India. Among the children, girl children face a major brunt of the vulnerabilities due to poverty, illiteracy and lack of healthcare facilities. Hence to alleviate the condition of Girl Child Government has introduced the following schemes.

  1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – This is a Central Government scheme applied across the country. The main objectives are to prevent social ills such as gender-based abortions and to advance the education of girl child throughout the country. The Government focus on the education of girl children is due to the fact that education is the ticket out of poverty.
  2. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana – It is Government-backed Savings Scheme for girls children, where girl child is the primary account holder and parents are joint account holders. Contributions would be made for 15 years and the account should be opened before the girl child turns 10 years. This scheme allows for flexible deposit options, high fixed rate of return, tax deduction benefit; maturity amount, interest earned are all exempt from tax; this scheme can be availed across India in all Public sector and private sector banks, India Post office.
  3. Balika Samriddhi Yojana – This is a scheme provided to mother and girl children living below the poverty line. This scheme is available in both urban and rural areas. After the birth of a newborn baby girl, a mother is provided cash benefit and cash benefit will be provided annually till the girl child reaches 10th standard.
  4. CBSE Udaan Scheme – This scheme was launched by the Ministry of Human Resources Development with special emphasis on girl children from economically weaker sections. They would be provided online resources or free course materials for class 11 and 12, virtual classes, peer learning, helpline services to clarify doubts, monitoring and tracking of progress, all with the objective of increasing enrollment of girls in prestigious technical higher education colleges in India.

For the list of Government Schemes in India, visit the linked article.

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The Vulnerability of Senior Citizens – Issues Faced by Senior Citizens

There are many issues faced by the senior citizens which makes them a very vulnerable group in India. Some of the causes behind their vulnerability are listed below.

  1. They lack knowledge about their human rights due to illiteracy.
  2. Lack of proper nutrition
  3. Lack of access to healthcare and medicine.
  4. They do not get respect from family members or people in general.
  5. Facing loneliness and marginalization.

The vulnerability of Senior Citizens – Government Schemes & Measures to Protect Them

By 2050, it is estimated that the population of Senior Citizens is expected to reach 30 crores. Social protection, pensions, public healthcare systems for this ageing population is going to be a big issue for the Government. Some of the Government schemes are given below.

  1. Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS) – Investments under this scheme are eligible for tax exemptions, this scheme has very high-interest rates, this is offered for people aged above 60 years. This scheme can be availed through public, private banks and the Indian Post Office.
  2. Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) – This scheme is managed by Life Insurance Corporation of India.
  3. Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 
  4. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana – It was launched in 2017, by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment of Government of India.
  5. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme – It was launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Rural Development of India.
  6. Travel concessions are provided for senior citizens.
  7. Housing facilities and recreational facilities are provided.
  8. Hospitals provide concessional facilities to senior citizens.
  9. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act were passed in 2007.


The vulnerability of Children and Aged – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.


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