The Chennai Corporation will soon conduct a survey to determine the number of child labourers and out-of-school children in all 10 zones.

In response to the tenders it floated recently, three bidders – one private firm and two non-governmental organisations – have evinced interest in taking up the project.

Of them, only two possessed the required documents and have been short-listed. A decision on the consultant will be taken on Wednesday, according to an official.

Speaking to The Hindu, Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said the civic body had come across children dropping out of school and engaging in labour in the 10 zones of the city.

“We want to conduct a comprehensive survey to know how many such children are there in the city. Once we have the numbers, we will identify them and systematically admit them to Corporation schools,” he said.

Minimum criteria

The minimum criteria expected of the applicants aspiring to partner the Corporation in this initiative is two years’ experience in conducting such surveys related to children, five years’ experience in the social development sector and the capacity to provide adequate number of field surveyors to complete the survey in 30 days.

According to statistics provided by the State Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum- Welfare Society a survey conducted by the State’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan wing in the year 2003 identified 4,799 child labourers in Chennai district.

Of these 2,724 were boys and 2,075 girls. Nearly 500 children were employed in hazardous occupations. Over 500 of the child labourers were less than 9 years.

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