Jharkhand's trafficked kids a prime focus for Kailash Satyarthi | india | Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand's trafficked kids a prime focus for Kailash Satyarthi

From rescuing hundreds of underage workers from dreary mica mines to prodding the state government on child rights, much of Kailash Satyarthi's efforts that won him a Nobel Prize on Friday centred on Jharkhand, a hotbed of child trafficking.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2014 21:01 IST
Bedanti Saran

From rescuing hundreds of underage workers from dreary mica mines to prodding the state government on child rights, much of Kailash Satyarthi's efforts that won him a Nobel Prize on Friday centred on Jharkhand, a hotbed of child trafficking.

Satyarthi's Bachapan Bachao Andolan (BBA) ran a campaign against the use of child workers in mines, eventually helping wean away more than 1000 children from the hazardous work and sending them to school in the three districts of Koderma, Giridhi and Hazaribag over the past seven years.

Rakesh Senger, director of BBA's victim assistance programme, said, "This is our biggest achievement in Jharkhand. These children have replaced tools with books.

"We rescued almost 80,000 children across India, of which 15-20% are from Jharkhand-Bihar."

Many of the rescued children suffered from silicosis and tuberculosis because of the constant exposure to hazardous environment or hard labour in city homes, restaurants and factories.

Setup three decades ago in 1980, the movement led by Satyarthi was launched in Jharkhand in 2000, the state's formation year. Since then BBA has managed to prod the state government on protection of child rights.

The organisation pursued anti-trafficking activities in Jharkhand, helping to expose human trafficking, including Panna Lal Mahato from whose house in New Delhi's Shakurpur area former Jharkhand minster Yogendra Sao was arrested for extremist links this week.

"We had lodged a complaint against Mahato and others three year back for trafficking a Ranchi girl. Currently we are helping the police to arrest him from Delhi," said Senger.

A BBA petition in the Jharkhand high court forced the state government to setup the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) in 2011 and formulate action plans for the rehabilitation of rescued children.

The Jharkhand government also recently proposed to set up 11 children's homes in different districts and has written for central assistance of Rs 87 lakh for each home so that rescued children could be given shelter for their rehabilitation.

Responding to the organisation's demand, the state government has drafted an action plan on the lines of the Delhi Action Plan for protection and rehabilitation of children. However, the plan is yet to be finalised.

Satyarthi's organisation has also pressed for the constitution of anti-trafficking units, highlighting the pitiable condition of the ten trafficking prone districts of Gumla, Simdega, Khunti, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Pakur, Sahebganj, Giridih, Hazaribagh and Dhanbad.