Maharashtra has the fourth-highest number of child labourers after Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan in India, revealed a study by CRY (Child Rights and You) on Saturday on the eve of World Day against Child Labour .
An analysis showed that 56% of child labourers between 15 and 19 years of age are either illiterate or have dropped out in order to earn for the family.
“At a time when they should be in school, they are compelled to take up the burden of supporting their families ,” said Kreeanne Rabadi, regional director, West, CRY. The data states that 26% of child labourers between ages of 7 and 14 are illiterate.
“Even if they are attending school, children often work for long stretches before and after school, hence their development gets hampered and the chance they will drop out is high,” added Rabadi.
CRY also released a 60- second National Anthem-film ‘ Contrast’ that talks about education as a tool of freedom from the clutches of deprivation.
National award- winning actor Sonali Kulkarni, who has partnered with CRY, said, “As citizens, it is our duty to make them feel beautiful about their lives since childhood. Let us wake up to the feelings we have and let us make a difference.” The film seeks to highlight the issue of child l abour and spread awareness about the role of education.