Restore childhood, eliminate child labour

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Jun 2018 09:09:06


By Alka Panse Tiwari,

A SMALL place in Mominpura market where the kids under age group 10-15 were forced to sit in a cage. A small cage where they could neither raise their neck upwards nor they could stretch their arms and legs. They would be given a piece of cloth, needle and were asked to do ‘Jardoji’ work which is often seen on women’s clothes.

They would spend the who leday sitting in the cageand hardly they know about the outer world. Fortunately, all were rescued a few years back, recalled Chhaya Gurav, a social worker, who was a part of the team which conducted the raid. Gurav is the programme coordinator of a NGO, Indian Child Integrated Development and also a working with Nagpur Child line. She informed that many such serious cases of child abuse are reported.

“The child labour cases are not considered very serious or inhuman, but still exist in the city, in a huge melee of the population,” she said. Samewas the conclusion of Dr John Menachery, Director of Childline and Principal of MSS Institute of SocialWork. “If numbers are to be believed,Childline has recieved 25 calls pertaining to Child Labour from March 2017- March 2018. The number has gone down from 40 last year.

Though the number is small on papers, many cases arestill unreported. People have become aware and more vigilant and this might be the reason that the Child Labour cases have been reduced atleast inthe maincity,”said Dr Menachery. Tuesday, the world will be observing Anti-Child Labour Day.Different organisation swi ll conduct raid sat many places and may rescue many child labours.

The ‘Hitavada’ spoke to some NGO heads, who are working hard against the Child Labour in city. Sharing another incident , Gurav told that a company owner in Yashodhara Nagar had forcefully made a 13-year-old boy to work, to recover the amount stolen by his father while he was an employee of the company.

“This case was reported two years back.The boy was brought all the way from Bihar to compensate for his father’smisdeed.An organisation called Helping Hand Group had alerted Childline and ICID which then rescued the child.

Such cases occur, but reported rarely,” said Gurav. The definition of child labour is different in different legislation. A child upto 18 year can be a rescued only if he is found working in dangerous situation. Dr Menachery stated that due to the recent amendments in Child Labour Act, it is difficult for the NGOs to rescue a child.“Many times either employer give confusing answers or the child itself does it to save his earnings,” he said.

Nagpur Childline work in collaboration with three other NGOs- Vardaan, Bapuji Bahujan Samaj and Kalyankari Bahuddeshiya Sanstha and Indian Centre for Integrated Development. Poverty, unemployment or pressure from familyor close relatives. There can be many such reasons why am in or is compelled to work and thus is deprived of his childhood. Every single person in the city might be noticing a child labourer daily. Mushtak Pathan,DistrictChild Protection Officer, said, “Definitely, the number of child labour cases have been increased but only a few children are being rescued.”

Child Welfare Committees (CWCs), formed by the law recently and is in full action as yet, Pathan said. Despite making several laws the problem of child labour has not been eliminated totally.There are several reasons for children working at tender age, compromising with their childhood dreams. These root causes of child labour will have to be discussed and handled properly.