On 14th November every year, we celebrate children's day to commemorate Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday, and to focus our attention about children's issues. While we celebrate our children and create the much-needed awareness about their overall well being, there are some disconcerting facts about growing up as a child in India.
We'd like to believe that our children are faring much better than the other developing and underdeveloped countries. But that's far from the truth: As far as underweight children are concerned, India is worse than Pakistan, South Africa and the other developing nations! Indians accounted for almost 43 percent underweight children whereas Pakistan has 32 percent and South Africa has only 9 percent. 
By 2025, the country will have 17 million obese children: Obesity is fast becoming a growing epidemic and a study published in the Paediatric Obesity confirms that India ranks second among 184 countries for childhood obesity. And strangely, the epidemic is not just confined to the higher rungs of the society. Studies show that overweight and obesity rates in children and adolescents are increasing also in the lower income groups which is also battling malnutrition, underweight and stunted growth in children. 
Stunting in children is a gargantuan challenge for health care professionals in India. According to the latest global report on child health, 48.9 million children are stunted and that's the highest in the world. That's the population of Colombia! A whopping 38.7 percent of Indian children are stunted! Uttar Pradesh is the worst affected by stunting followed by Bihar and Gujarat.
A report released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), India has the largest workforce of working children in the world! The recent Stolen Childhoods report by Save the Children states that 31 million of India's children between the age group of 4-14 are child labourers.
The report also says that In India, 21.1 percent of all girls aged 15 to 19 years are married. What's worse? If the reports are anything to go by, 103 million girls were married before they turned 18. The report by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation states that early marriages are of adolescent girls is seen more in rural areas among poorer families. One in five adolescent girls gives birth for the first time at the age of 18. Early birth is associated with myriad health problems in young girls.
Even more shocking is the alarming rate in which children go missing in India. According to CRY (Child Rights and You), an estimated 180 children go missing every day all over the country. The home ministry's data confirms that in 2015, 62,988 went missing in the country.
The face of Kamlesh has inspired many heartless memes. Sitting at a place of privilege, it is easy for us to talk about these "wayward" children. But the truth is that they never had a choice in the first place. According to a recent report by the Delhi government, 70, 000 children have fallen prey to drugs, cannabis, tobacco and alcohol. Initiation to these vices starts as early as nine years.
Infant mortality has reduced greatly in the country, it is still as high as forty infant deaths per thousand births in the country. States like Madhya Pradesh and Assam have the highest number of infant deaths in the country. A Unicef report has revealed that around 1.2 million children in India died of preventable causes in 2015.