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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Shortage of labour inspectors hampers drive against child labour in Jalandhar

Jatinder Mahal, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, June 13, 2014
First Published: 19:31 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:50 IST(13/6/2014)

Contrary to the tall claims of the administration, the labour department is struggling to get adequate staff to tackle the menace of child labour in the district.

Out of the nine sanctioned posts of labour inspectors, only two are conducting raids during the ongoing anti-child labour week being observed from June 9 to 16 exhorting people to stop engaging children in work, particularly that of hazardous nature.

Officials at the district labour department said they received around 50 to 60 complaints in this connection and it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to inspect all of them since many posts of ministerial staff are also lying vacant for some time.

They maintained that it was difficult to manage with just two labour inspectors since they have to act on complaints and take care of other works as well.

Pradeep Chaudhary, an inspector posted with labour department, said at times it became difficult to handle the number of complaint and other workload.

As the government has banned the employment of children below 14 years of age in hazardous industries, deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav on Tuesday issued strict instructions to the district labour department so that such cases do not occur.

As per the guidelines under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, employment of children below 14 in hazardous industries is banned.  

The labour inspectors have to keep tabs on such cases.

Inderjit Singh, director, National child labour project, said, "We have written to the higher authorities about this.

Even as a new labour inspector joined the office a day before but it will not improve things much."

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