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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Rights body seeks a reality check on TV child stars

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issues a notice to Labour Secretary on the impact of popular TV shows on performing children vis-à-vis time to study and play, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2008 22:47 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

Reality shows have come under the government scanner for a totally unexpected reason — to find out whether the shows involving children are putting a stress on them, thereby affecting their education.

On this issue, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issued a notice to Labour Secretary Sudha Pillai asking the ministry to submit a report on the impact of these popular TV shows on performing children vis-à-vis time to study and play. The UN Convention on Child Rights prescribes enough studying and playing time for each child.

Two reality shows mentioned in the notice are Boogie Boogie on Sony and Chak De Bache on 9X, where children perform on stage in front of judges. “Children have been seen performing on vulgar songs on these shows without understanding what is being shown on television,” alleged NCPCR member Sandhya Bajaj.

The labour ministry has also been asked to examine whether the television channels have followed the Child Labour (Prohibition) Act by calling these children to rehearse for long hours and then perform.

Bajaj, in the notice issued on Monday, said that a child who spends a part of a day working does not go to school and therefore, remain uneducated. Therefore, it amounts to violation of child labour laws, she noted.

The labour ministry officials beg to differ. They say that television or entertainment sector is not included in the list of sectors banned for employment of child labour. But, regulations like employment of not more than six hours and adequate facilities at the workplace should be followed by producers of these reality shows, a ministry official told HT. The ministry has so far not received any complaint against television producers for violation of child labour laws.