WITH THE ban on use of child labour in restaurants and as domestic help coming into force from Tuesday, officials of the district administration are gearing up to implement it.
According to sources, there are plans to make a detailed list of all roadside eateries and restaurants where child labour is being used and after issuing a warning action would be taken against them.
While officials feel that it was not possible for them to check out all houses to see whether children were being used as domestic help, as a first step government employees are being roped in to file a declaration that they were not using children at home. “This will go a long way in proving to be a deterrent for using child labour as domestic help, at least among government staff,” an official said.
The exact number of children doing menial jobs in small wayside eateries and dhabas is not known, but a random survey would reveal that the practice is widely prevalent.
In most cases it is parents themselves who put children on the job and collect the monthly salary from the restaurant owner. The salary paid to child workers varies from Rs 500 to Rs 600 and food plus a place to sleep – usually the eating place itself – and for this they have to be on duty at least 16 hours a day.
Labour Commissioner Rajneesh Vaish told Hindustan Times that the department has formulated a State-level action plan to implement the ban on child labour. “We have formed block level committees to create awareness and identify child labourers with an objective to rehabilitate them. As there are only 190 labour inspectors in the State, the government has notified many more inspectors in different departments and given them powers to conduct search and rescue operations.
Many departments including police, revenue and Mahila Bal Vikas etc have been pressed into service. Our basic objective is to send these children to schools.”
Additional labour commissioner L P Pandey informed that all government officials would have to give a certificate stating that they have not employed child labourer as domestic help.
SP Anshuman Yadav said that though the police were not directly involved with enforcing the ban, they would help the concerned department by providing adequate force to ensure that the ban was implemented effectively.