Child Poverty as Capabilities Deprivation: a case study in a slum area on New Delhi

Biggeri, Mario, and Jean-Francois Trani (2009). "Child Poverty as Capabilities Deprivation: a case study in a slum area on New Delhi" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

In this paper the capability approach perspective is used to satisfy the multidimensional nature of child poverty and wellbeing. The objective of this paper is twofold. The first is to understand the level of deprivation of children in a slum area of New Delhi and the second to evaluate the impact of a community based projects named Project Why (PW) on their wellbeing. PW is an Indian community based NGO operating in New Delhi. PW benefits about 600 children, spread in 6 different localities in the southern part of Delhi: Govindpuri, Nehru Camp, Giri Nagar, Sanjay Colony, Okhla Phase I, Khadar. This NGO offers different services, depending on the child’s age and needs. There are crèche sections for children from 2 to 5 years old; children between 5 and 15 years old are supported by a tuition service aimed at complementing and strengthening the poor education they receive at school: according to their age they attend a primary or a secondary section or a computer centre. Furthermore, in the locality of Govindpuri two relevant structures have been created: a disabled section for about 20 disabled people of very different ages, mainly with learning difficulties, and a foster care centre hosting 4 children with very difficult backgrounds and 3 disabled people. In the neighbourhood of Khadar, there is also a women’s centre. The data used in the analysis were collected throughout an ad hoc survey just after the international workshop2. The survey based method is based on the procedure developed by Children Capabilities Thematic Group of the HDCA. The surveyl interviewed 120 children between 12 and 16 included (20 children in every location of Project Why). The children interviewed were from two groups: the first group from PW and the second a control group in the same areas. Children were randomly selected. The results and data elaboration evidence the level of subjective deprivation and the impact of the project in terms of capability expansion/reduction.
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