With a countrywide ban on child labour coming into force on Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to people to stop employing children as workers and actively encourage children to join schools.
In his plea on Monday, just before departing for Britain, Singh called on forums representing voices of all sections in society, employees of government and other public institutions to join the government's endeavour in ensuring that the law is implemented.
The fresh notification, under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, prohibits employment of children up to the age of 14 years as domestic servants or servants in dhabas (roadside eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, teashops, resorts, spas and recreational centres.
"Our nation has solemnly pledged that children in our country are not engaged in any form of work at the cost of their right to education," he said.
"As a major step in this direction, I call upon each one of you to stop employing children as workers and actively encourage children to join schools."
Singh said arrangements had been made by state governments to accommodate children freed from such bondage in the government's flagship programme, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to achieve universal elementary education.
"Let us create a moral force to build our country free of child labour, paving the way for children enjoying the right to education," said Singh.