Freedom from labour is still a far cry for these children
70 years after Independence, freedom for these children is still a far cry. Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC), a child rights and protection wing of Pratham, an NGO, conducted a survey at roadside shops, eateries, garages and general stores, that showed that about 650 children below 14 years are still working as labourers at various establishments.jaipur Updated: Aug 14, 2017 20:54 IST
Jaipur: About 650 children below 14 years are working as labourers at various establishments in Jaipur 70 years after the country became independent, said a survey.
Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC), a child rights and protection wing of Pratham, an NGO, conducted the survey at roadside shops, eateries, garages and general stores, among others.
“PCVC aspires towards creating a society where every child is educated, free from exploitation and protected, but still a large number of children are engaged as child labourers,” said Krishna Kanwar of the council.
“Despite 70 years of India’s independence, when will these child labourers be free?” she asked.
Kanwar said 429 children up to 14 years were found working at 25000 shops in Jaipur in the first phase of the survey held between March and April this year. Many employers agreed to send the children back home after they were informed about the law.
“A large number of shopkeepers are unaware about the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, and on educating them, they agreed not to engage children in work,” she said.
“During a follow-up in May, it was found that 300 children were withdrawn from work, which was a positive sign of awareness among employers,” Kanwar said.
In second phase of the survey held in July, 223 children were found working in 89,000 shops. The number was less because of ‘Operation Milaap’ launched by the police department; under the drive, police rescued children by raiding shops and factories, and united them with their families.
PCVC city coordinator Mukesh Sharma said, “A large number of children are working as labourers. When shopkeepers see a team, they would send children out for some time so that they are not seen during checking; many times, the team is not allowed access inside the shops.”
PCVC suggested that police and the labour department conduct surprise checks and initiate action against shops and establishments, a task force be formed at the district level for vigil in child labour-prone areas and a signed undertaking be taken from shopkeepers during registration of their shops for not engaging child labour.
Child labour count
Out of 652 children identified in Jaipur, 370 were aged 14 or below, and 282 were 15 and above. Of 213 children found working in hotels and eateries, 129 were 14 years and below, and 84 were 15 years and above; 198 kids were found in general shops; 95 in garment shops; 132 in garage and 7 each in cosmetic and jewellery shops.
First Published: Aug 14, 2017 20:54 IST