Children shows like DID Little masters and television soaps like Parvarish in which children below 14 play an important part might very well be history, if the proposed amendment to the anti-child labour law passed by the Union Cabinet is approved, reports Daily Mail.
Employing a child below 14 years in any kind of occupation is set to become a cognizable offence, punishable with a maximum three years imprisonment or fine upto a maximum of Rs. 50,000.
The act will allow employing children only between 14-18 years in non- hazardous industries like forest gathering, child care etc. Children between 14-18 years have been defined as "adolescents" in the amended Act.
The existing Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, while prohibiting employment of children in hazardous industries allows children below 14 years of age to work in industries not considered to be hazardous.
Ministry officials said that banning any employment of children below 14 years will go a long way in enforcing the Right to Education Act, 2009 which mandates free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of 6-14 years.
"Because of the inherent contradiction in the existing Child Labour Act which allowed employing children under 14 year in non hazardous occupation, it was getting difficult to enforce the RTE Act. That's why the the ministry proposed the changes to link it with the age of compulsory education," said an official.
Children working in television reportedly get Rs 25,000 or more per day.
"We have a number of stories which have to be told through a child. The government can enforce strict rules for the benefit of the child artistes, but a complete ban will not serve any purpose. Such a move will also take away a valid platform for gifted children," Purnendu Shekhar, director of Balika Vadhu told Daily Mail.