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Free education for UNICEF poster girl

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 14:35 IST

The Bihar government has decided to provide free education to Chunam Kumari, UNICEF's poster girl for their campaign against child labour.

"Chuhiya (as Chunam is fondly called) will be given free education, clothes, besides food as part of our rehabilitation package," state Welfare Department Secretary and Commissioner Vijay Prakash said on Wednesday.

He said she would be admitted to one of the schools run by the state welfare department for the SC/ST and OBC students.

Official sources said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had taken a "strong exception" to the plight of the six-year-old girl and ordered her rehabilitation after she was recently spotted cleaning utensils at her father's roadside eatery, close to ruling JD(U) headquarters in Patna.

Chunam's posters were printed by the world body and pasted at many places to attract public attention towards the plight of the faceless multitude of children toiling to make a living.

Weeks had gone by since the campaign was launched but Chunam was awaiting rehabilitation and government help.