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Updated: June 18, 2012 15:53 IST

Give back their childhood

P. Sujatha Varma
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Carrying a powerful message: Children from different NGO homs. Photo: Raju V.
The Hindu Carrying a powerful message: Children from different NGO homs. Photo: Raju V.

Many kids were rescued from bonded labour and were brought under the care of NGOs.

The World Anti-Child Labour Day observed recently brought into focus the plight of scores of orphan children who have been brought under the care and protection of local non-governmental organisations after they were rescued from factories, shops, hotels, restaurants and other trade establishments in the city.

As part of an extensive drive against child labour, the district National Child Labour Programme (NCLP) officials have rescued hundreds of children employed as child labour by trade and commercial establishments or as domestic help in residential colonies in the city.

The rescued children are taken into safe custody by members of the Forum for Child Rights, Krishna district, a consortium of various Government departments, NGOs involved in child welfare programmes and other stakeholders.

The Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation stadium was abuzz with activity with a large number of orphan and semi-orphan children and inmates of welfare hostels run by local NGOs gathering at the venue to register their protest against the social evil of child labour.

Take an oath

Holding placards with eye-catching phrases that urged people to end the scourge of child labour, the young children raised slogans, vowing not to work as a child labour ever again. Later, they were administered an oath by the district Collector S.A.M. Rizvi, that they would never work again and instead, join schools and educate themselves.

The Collector, in his speech, urged people to be sensitive to a child’s basic needs. He said it was a crime to employ a child for meagre wages and warned the employers of serious consequences if they did not adhere to the stipulated norms.

The programme was a good initiative jointly conducted by many departments of the Government in active coordination with the NGOs. But an obtrusive aspect of the whole exercise was that the participating children comprised only orphan and semi-orphan children besides inmates of welfare hostels. Inclusion of children from the mainstream schools would have perhaps helped the officials drive their point home loud and clear.

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