Introduction

Located in north-western India, Rajasthan is the countrys largest state by area. At 342,239 km2, it encompasses 11 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. Along with this large area comes a wide and diverse topography: rolling sand dunes, fertile plains, rocky, undulating regions and even some forested areas. Still, a large proportion of the state is arid and Rajasthan is home to Indias biggest desert, the Thar. Rajasthan has been at the forefront of Indiaseconomic reforms and is now among the countrys six fastest-growing states. Its main economy is agriculture, but industrial sectors such as textiles and vegetable oil and dye production also contribute significantly to the states GDP. Other private sector industries include steel, cement, ceramics and glassware, electronics, leather and footwear, stone and chemical industries. Rajasthan has a thriving tourism industry thanks to its reputation at the Land of Kings. A strong royal past has left the state with many centuries-old palaces and princely estates to visit. As such, tourism accounts for 15 per cent of Rajasthans economy. The state is home to more than 68 million people, almost 50 per cent of whom are under the age of 18 years (2011 census). It is predominantly rural, with 75 per cent of its population living in villages. More than 30 per cent of its population belongs to scheduled castes (17.8 per cent) and scheduled tribes (13.5 per cent). Over recent decades, successive Rajasthan governments have shown a commitment to address the states many development concerns, especially those of children, adolescents and women. They have instituted the Girl Child Policy of 2012, to ensure the survival, growth and development and empowerment of girls, and have taken a lead in child lab ... Read More...

Challenges and Opportunities
Rajasthan, which has an enrolment of 95 per cent in elementary schools, faces a challenge in achieving age-appropriate learning outcomes among children and in creating a protective environment for them. Societal norms still conform to caste and gender-based discrimination, resulting in high levels of gender discrimination which have, in turn, led to a troubling sex ratio and high incidences of child labour, child marriage and corporal punishment. Rajasthan has an enrolment level of 95 per cent in elementary schools and school infrastructure is better than in many states. UNICEF is working to provide technical suppo ... Read More...
UNICEF in Action
UNICEF is working with a range of government departments in Rajasthan to provide technical support for programmes aimed at improving child survival, growth and development. It is focusing on improving the health and nutrition status of newborns, children, adolescents and women and adequately addressing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues, particularly by working to eliminate open defecation. The state office has been fostering collaboration between UNICEFs Education, Child Protection and Policy Planning and Evaluation sections to create a protective and learning environment for boys and girls so that they are able to have equitable access to, and utilize, quality education and protection services. Adolescent participation is another area where a range of UNICEF sections have come together to bring about change. In thi ... Read More...