'Implementing ban a tightrope walk'
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'Implementing ban a tightrope walk'

The ministry concerned has no idea as to how many kids it would have to deal with, reports Raveen Thukral.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 20:43 IST
Raveen Thukral
Raveen Thukral

The Labour ministry's ban on employing children below the age of 14 years in dhabas, restaurants and homes came in force on Tuesday but the ministry of Child and Women Development, which would be playing a major role in the rehabilitation of all such children rendered workless, has no idea as to how many kids it would have to deal with.

"We have again written to the labour ministry for the figures of children who are likely to be affected by the ban but are still awaiting a response," said Union minister of state for Child and Women Development, Renuka Choudhry while admitting that the implementation of the ban would be a "tightrope walk and a tricky job".

Talking to Hindustan Times in Chandigarh on Monday, the minister was however happy that the ban was being implemented and said that it was a step in the right direction.

Women’s Bill to be tabled in Winter session

Union Minister of state for Child and Women Development, Renuka Choudhry, has said that the government would table the Women’s Reservation Bill, which has been hanging fire for long, in the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament.

While the minister was confident that the Bill would be tabled, she wasn’t sure if the same would be passed.

"At least those opposing the Bill would be exposed," she said claiming that the Bill would be passed in this very tenure of the UPA. Significantly only a few days ago Lok Sabha speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, had also claimed that the women’s bill would be passed in his tenure.

In a candid admission that there was no concrete plan as of now for the rehabilitation of such children, the minister said, "we are awaiting the data from the labour ministry so that we could augment facilities of schools, shelters and mid day meals". However, she maintained that their department was in a position to deal with the situation.

When asked if the labour ministry had taken her ministry into confidence or sought suggestions for rehabilitation of the children prior to the announcement of the Oct 10 deadline, the minister said, "they didn't consult us but I have no complaints as this had to be done. Children have right to childhood and they should not be deprived of it", she said.

The minister also revealed that she had written to the Prime Minister and the Home Ministry for amendments in Sec 312 to 316 of the IPC, relating to punishments for offences for causing miscarriage, as they were being misused against women.

She said that these sections, (312) Causing miscarriage; (313) Causing miscarriage without woman's consent; (314) Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage; (315) Act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth; and (316) Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide, had become outdated and were being misused by unscrupulous husbands and in-laws to harass women who had undergone miscarriage or abortions for genuine reasons.

The minister said she had sought data from the home ministry of all women undergoing sentence for violation of these sections and would seek amnesty for the deserving cases.

She revealed that she had also sought data of women lodged in mental asylums and of those who had completed their sentences but were still languishing in jails. "We would analyse the data and subsequently move a proposal for amnesty for all deserving women", she said regretting the fact that till now women and child had been the least priorities of all governments.

First Published: Oct 10, 2006 18:42 IST