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Request Petition for the DEFINITION of ORPHAN in Constitution

Respected Prime Minister,

Government of India.

We, Force for Orphan Rights and Community Empowerment (FORCE), 'Maaillu' Prajadharana Ashramam and HOPE Trust Society are bringing to your kind notice about the situation of Orphans in our Nation who require a dedicated legislation for definition for orphan term, to address their policies of  identification, nativity which are the primary needs to avail the fundamental rights as the citizens of our Nation.

Sir, as you are aware the situation of orphans is quite pathetic in India. Orphans lack legal and social identity and have little or no access to social support structures and protective mechanisms in India.They do not avail any rights of their own and are uncovered by most welfare schemes provided by the state and Central Government.

Non Constitutional Existing Definition

There are different definitions of the term orphan. Generally speaking, an orphan refers to a (minor) child who has lost both her/his natural parents or is devoid of parental care and has not been adopted. Another approach includes children who have lost a single parent are under the category of orphans. Orphans can also be classified into two types, viz. true and social. A true orphan refers to a child with no parents or extended family to care for them. Social orphans come from families where the child cannot be cared for because of incarceration, extreme poverty, physical abuse, and abandonment.

Magnitude of the problem 

According to a report by UNICEF, there are anywhere between 14.3 and 21 crore orphaned children across the globe. India had an estimated 2.57 crore orphaned children aged 0–17 years as in 2007[1]. This is a growing problem with an average of 5,760 children being orphaned worldwide each day. Though a significant number of orphaned children are being adopted, the number of children joining the ranks of orphans is far greater than this.

Social Status of an Orphan

The orphan has a very low social status. Orphans lack a social identity and self-esteem and they also have little or no access to social support structures and protective mechanisms. They are mostly outcasts and hardly anyone demonstrates love and affection towards them. They do not avail any rights of their own and are uncovered by most welfare schemes of the government. All this results in a vacuum in their lives and they sometimes tread the wrong path in the absence of counseling facilities, ending up as anti-social elements. This is common in the case of delinquent adolescent youth. Suicidal tendencies are not rare among them. Girl orphans are often overworked and are more likely to drop out of school earlier than boys. The possibility of their sexual exploitation is also higher.

Street children account for a significant proportion of orphans. They lead an unstable lifestyle and have no access to medical care, which renders them vulnerable to chronic illnesses, health disorders and sexually-transmitted diseases. Some of them are also enticed by adults and older youth into drug peddling, stealing and prostitution. Nearly 9 in 10 street children are known to take to substance abuse. Instances involving torture of and violence against such children by the police are not rare. Their homelessness can also result in perpetuation of abuse through child labor and prostitution. All this thwarts their overall mental, social and emotional development.

The central Government should create clear "Definition for Orphans" through Constitutional Act. To  prove the identity of an Indian citizen the government of India introduced so many identity cards like pan card, Aadhaar card, voter card etc. but How can an orphan get his identity? to get admission in the school they need Birth certificate, Caste certificate, to receive government entitlements they need ration card, income certificate and residential certificate for address proof. But what can an orphan submit to get the above certificates? More orphans suffer a host of physical, sociological and psychological problems including lack of nutrition, education, and abuse. Every Orphan is seeking an answer to the questions that came out of their broken hearts what are we? who are my parents? what is my identity? what is my date of birth? what is my religion? what is my caste? what is my address? what is my nationality? And to whom I belong?

[1]http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/india_statistics.html - this number includes single-parent orphans

We kindly request you to take it as an urgent and essential matter, action to be done in defining the Orphan and policies to be enacted to address the above mentioned problems .

With Regards,

Gade Innaiah (Inna Reddy)

FORCE (Force for Orphan rights and Community Empowerment)

Hyderabad, Telangana State.

contact: 9618113511,9866216680