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National consultation on 'Improving Living Conditions of children in urban slums' on Aug 28
Growing urbanization in the country has been accompanied with a continuous increase in the number of people living in slums in difficult conditions. Over the past few years, some of the government programmes like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) have placed a significant focus on urban renewal.

These programmes have also been expected to address some of the major vulnerabilities of the urban poor. Children, particularly the young children are perhaps the most vulnerable section of the urban poor population. Hence, there is a need to examine the urban development policies as to whether they are giving adequate priority to children living in urban slums.

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) has carried out a research study, 'Policy and Budget Analysis towards Improving Living Conditions of Young Children in Urban Slums in India' with the support of Bernard van Leer Foundation. The study has analysed the policies and budgetary allocations of selected Union Government Ministries dealing with urban development and urban poor.

It has also analysed the policies and budgets of the State Governments in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, it has examined the budgets of selected Municipal Corporations (viz. Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Greater Hyderabad and Greater Mumbai) in these four states. The analysis aims to highlight the gaps in policies and budgets and suggest changes that would be required for improving the living conditions of children in slums.

In this context, a National Consultation is being organised with the purpose of bringing together senior government officials, civil society organisations and researchers to deepen our understanding on the issue collectively. The Consultation aims to share the findings and recommendations presented in the Draft Report of the study by CBGA with a range of stakeholders, seek their feedback and suggestions, and facilitate a discussion on this issue at the national level.

The Consultation will be held at India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi on August 28. It aims to bring together senior representatives from the government at all three tiers, sector experts and researchers, and civil society leaders working on issues of urban poor and children.

CBGA Executive Director Subrat Das said they would subsequently share the key messages emerging from this discussion with all crucial stakeholders such as the government, civil society, media and Parliamentarians.

Alka Asthana, Director, JNNURM and RAY, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Enakshi Ganguli Thukral, Co-Director, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Prachi Jambhekar, Asst. Commissioner, Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation will participate in the inaugural session. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affair, N.C. Saxena, Senior Advisor, UNICEF India and Preeti Prada, National Coordinator, Humara Bachpan Campaign will also participate.

CBGA is an independent policy research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. It analyses public policies and government finances in India, and advocates for greater transparency, accountability and public participation in budget processes in the country.

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