Background: Street life is always challenge for survival not only for adults but very difficult for children. They live within the city but are unable to take advantage of the comforts of urban life. Nurses have a major role in addressing this issue. This study focused primarily on access to health and education in street children from different age groups in Thumkur District, Karnataka, India.
Methods: A survey was conducted on 326 children (aged 4-17 yrs) residing in home-based foster care between Aug 2004 to Jan 2006 in Tumkur, Karnataka, India.
Statistics: Percentage was calculated to know the difference.
Results: Majority of the samples were from rural area with 68 (68%) participants and remaining 32 (32%) were from urban area. 30 (30%) were Hindus, 60 (60%) were Christians, 10 (10%) were Muslim and from other religious caste. Among 100 street children, 12 (12%) were in the age group of 6 and 8 years, 14 (14%) were in the age group of 7 and 12 years, whereas, 17 (17%) were in the age group of 9 years, 22 (22%) were in the age group of 10 years and 10 (10%) were in the age group of 11 years. Based on the family system of 100 street children, 60 (60%) were from nuclear families, 32 (32%) were from joint families and 8 (8%) were from extended families. Majority of the samples were rarely absent to school with 15 (15%) participants, 12(12%) were often absent to school, 8 (8%) were absent very often to school and remaining 65 (65%) were regular to school. The other parameters considered were no. of children in the family, birth order of the child, preschool learning, marks percentage, problems with isolation.
Conclusion: As nurses have a major role in addressing this issue, there should be trained in planning and implementing all the basic need a street child needs and work in association with government and NGO’s.
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