STATE LABOUR Department is making tall claims to implement the Child Labour Act that bars children under 14 years of age from working as domestic help or servants in hospitality industry. But it gives scant regard to the real problems a child labourer and his family faces.
Deputy labour commissioner Rakesh Kumar said the department had planned to create awareness among people about the new regulation. The awareness programme would be complete by October 15 all over the State through advertisements. Cooperation of NGOs has been sought for the purpose to run campaigns in their areas and identify places where child labourers were employed. Meetings are also scheduled with hotel and industries associations to inform about the law against employing child labourers in their establishments.
From October 16, four teams, including assistant director factory, health officer, labour enforcement officer and assistant labour commissioner would visit various establishments in the city to check implementation of the amended provision of the Act.
Persons found flouting the law would be booked under the Child Labour Protection Act and fined Rs 20,000. They may also be imprisoned from three months to one year. State Government would review the condition on October 31 with the labour department officials and decided the further course of action.
State Government has its own plans to rehabilitate child labourers who would be rescued. Children would be enrolled in special schools being run under National Child Labour Project and provided free education with books and mid-day meal.
A monthly stipend of Rs 100 would also be provided to children. One member of their family would be connected with some government schemes to provide financial support to children’s family.