This paper presents findings based on research carried out between 2007 and 2008 with a group of boys and girls in Andhra Pradesh who participate in Young Lives. The research elicited children’s views on changes that affected their households and communities over a one-year period, including in relation to broader economic crises. While a positive economic ‘turnaround’ has been noted for Andhra Pradesh in recent years, there is still a considerable degree of poverty and some notable regional disparities. Children identified both negative and positive changes in their households and communities, including the significant increase in food prices, which they viewed as a risk to child well-being. They described how the financial crisis impacted on their time-use, for example, the way they balanced school and work, as well as how they experienced the various programmes aimed at protecting them (Midday Meal Scheme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), child sponsorship, etc). They provided critical commentary on how economic and political changes impacted on children and how they coped with them (for example by eating less or working more). Children’s views on risk and vulnerability reflected the differing circumstances of their families’ livelihoods and of their local environments. They were knowledgeable about and at times critical of the various services and programmes operating in their communities. Overall, their participation in the research was active and engaged and their insights into community change were indicative of their awareness of and involvement in their household economies and wider societies. Their experiences demonstrated that children are not only ‘impacted’ by crisis, but that they are also active in managing the risks associated with poverty.
U. Vennam, G. Crivello and H. Kongara. Working Paper 64. Children’s Perspectives on Risk and Vulnerability in Contexts of Poverty and Change: Findings from Andhra Pradesh, India. (2010) 28 pp. ISBN 978-1-904427-70-4