Even as the government has been making tall claims of empowering students who are forced to engage in child labour by extending them a monthly stipend of Rs 150, many of such students are not getting anything at present, courtesy red tape in the child labour department.
This scholarship is given under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) scheme with a clause that the beneficiary children or their guardians must have the unique identification number.
Ironically, the Supreme Court had ruled in September 2013 that the Aadhaar card was not mandatory for providing public services but these poor children are not being given the stipend on the same ground.
Since many children enrolled under this scheme do not have the unique identity number as many of them had not applied for the same and others are not even aware of the clause.
As many as 120 students are not able to get the stipend, out of 1,350 children enrolled under this scheme in Jalandhar district since April last year when the Aadhaar card linkage was made necessary.
Officials said as the system had not been updated for a year and the department needed to fill the Aadhaar card information of the children who were not issued the stipend.
The scheme aimed at the rehabilitation of children engaged in hazardous occupations and admit them in special schools.
Under this scheme, a total of 27 special schools are running in Jalandhar and all of them have a batch of 50 students in the age group of 9-14 years.
As per the scheme, the children are to be given two teachers who will provide them vocational training. Besides, they also get mid-day meal.
Inderjit Singh, director, National Child Labour Project, Jalandhar, said, “We have sent a proposal to make necessary changes in the distribution of benefits under the scheme to the higher authorities. We are waiting for their response.”