Child labour neglected where Satyarathi started his campaign | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Child labour neglected where Satyarathi started his campaign

Even though Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarathi, founder of the ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’, conducted his first ever raid in Punjab, the issue of child labour remains vastly neglected in the state.

punjab Updated: Oct 14, 2014 14:11 IST
Tarsem Singh Deogan

Even though Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarathi, founder of the ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’, conducted his first ever raid in Punjab, the issue of child labour remains vastly neglected in the state.

Innumerable complaints of child labour have been gathering dust for years, even though they are to be addressed within 24 hours of receipt.

Special task forces comprising officials of eight government departments, including district administration, health, labour and education departments, have been formed in each district to keep a tab on child labour by conducting regular raids at units where child labour is suspected. But in vain. While tens of thousands of children continue to be employed across the district, only few raids have been conducted in the past two years, rescuing only 240 children.

Dinesh Kumar, activist of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Punjab Chapter, said the district task forces were not concerned about child labourers. “The task forces have collected data of only 1,865 child labourers in the past two years,” he added.

He further added that the irony was that the officials themselves used to leak information before conducting raids, making the whole exercise futile.

“Whenever Bachpan Bachao Andolan has given prior information about raids to the officials concerned, the raid usually flopped. But whenever the NGO conducts raids without informing anyone, child labourers are rescued,” Kumar claimed.

It is pertinent to mention that Kailash Satyarathi had conducted his first raid at Sirhind in Punjab to rescue a girl who was being sold to a brothel. The girl’s father had approached Satyarthi, who had himself led the raid to rescue the girl.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING GANGS INVOLVED

Dinesh Kumar claimed that most child labourers had reached Punjab through human trafficking. Most of the children employed in factories had been brought from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, while the domestic helps had been brought from Nepal and West Bengal. He claimed that most of child labourers were working in the hosiery and garment industry of Punjab.