Vinay Kumar Sorake, Minister for Urban Development, said on Thursday that it was necessary to create more awareness in the society on child labour. He was speaking after inaugurating the World Day against Child Labour organised by the District Administration, here.

Most children work in hotels, garages and other small industries. In big cities, there were organised rackets, where small children were sent to beg at traffic signal lights.

“It is imperative on the part of both the officials and the society to put an end to the social evil of child labour,” he said.

He said that it was essential to provide children with compulsory education in schools. It was only when they got educated that they would turn out to be assets for the country.

Mr. Sorake directed the Deputy Commissioner Muddu Mohan to see to it that better facilities were provided at the Moraraji Desai Schools and the government students’ hostels. M.N. Devaraju, Labour Officer, said that the Labour Department had conducted 718 inspections at hotels, garbages, bar and restaurants, stone quarries, construction sites and other places and found eight child labourers in 2013-14, who were then admitted to the Spoortidhama Children’s Residential School.

In April and May, this year, the Department had conducted 164 inspections and found nine child labourers.

As many as 11 cases had been filed in the last three years against those who had employed child labourers in the district. A fine of Rs. 8.4 lakh had been collected from erring owners and deposited in the Deputy Commissioner’s Corpus Found, he said.

Child should have right to education: Judge

Principal District and Sessions Judge Uma M.G. said a child had the right to education and facilities that help him/her develop mentally and physically. Driving them to child labour denies children of these basic needs.

Ms. Uma said poverty and illiteracy of parents made them send their children to work.

Children were seen more in number in garages and agarbatti (incense sticks) making. People should come forward to report to Labour department about the use children below 14 years as labour, she said.

Police Commissioner R. Hithendra said though the intentions of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act were bonafide the same are not realised because of poor implementation.

Awareness about the Act at the district and taluk level was very low. It was necessary for people to know about the Act, he said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Sadashiva Prabhu said the district was not free from Child Labour.

There were lot many instances of use of child labour, which, unfortunately are going unreported. Mr. Prabhu asked people to actively associate with Labour and other departments in making the district child labour free.

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