The number of cases of child labour prosecuted in Mumbai has risen between 2010 and 2015 as has the number of arrested offenders, revealed data released by Mumbai police on June 12, observed as World Day Against Child Labour.
Police data showed the number of cases registered against child labour in 2010 was 48, which has increased to 265 this year. The number of arrests has shot up from 42 in 2010 to 398 this year.
Sunita Mhaiskar, assistant labour commissioner of the child labour cell, said, “The complaints and arrests have increased through the years due to the funds that the government is providing us for advertisements on hoardings, radio, television channels and other media.”
However, people’s attitude to child labour has changed little, as indicated by a poll conducted among 53,000 people by the police and the NGO Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children.
Of these, 1,300 said there was nothing wrong with children being made to work. “As we went around conducting our survey in villages, a lot of families told us that children serve as extra hands and thus help to earn money for the household. Though they are ready to send their children to school, the complication is the daily wages (earned by the children),” said Farida Lambay, executive secretary, Pratham.