Staff Reporter

Concept aimed at children of construction workers

  • Five schools set up on city outskirts
  • 200 children currently enrolled

    HYDERABAD: As part of the State Government's drive to eradicate child labour from the twin cities, Hyderabad district administration has come up with a new concept of doorstep schools for children of construction labourers.

    Currently, five such schools are running on the outskirts of Hyderabad, where there is heightened construction activity.

    Denied access

    Speaking at a workshop on child labour organised by UNICEF on Thursday, district Collector R.V. Chandravadan said, "The children of construction workers are denied access to education because the construction sites are often situated in commercial areas away from Government schools. At times parents are also reluctant to send their children outside the construction site for fear of their safety."

    Plans for 50 more

    It is for this reason that the administration has made arrangements for makeshift schools.

    According to Mr. Chandravadan, these schools are set up in a tent at the construction site where teachers come to teach.

    Around 200 children are currently enrolled in these schools.

    The administration proposes to set up 50 more such schools in the near future.

    Measures

    Striking at the root of the problem, the administration also plans to bring in income generating measures to support the families of rehabilitated child labourers.

    Government welfare departments are also supporting this programme. Priorities in Government benefits like ration cards and housing are some of the other measures.

    Society's role

    Pointing out civil society's responsibility, Shanta Sinha of M.V. Foundation said, "Absence of social norm is the real cause of child labour. The employers should be made to feel ashamed for employing a child."

    She added that employers needed to be sensitised that good treatment of child labourers does not compensate for their right to education.

    She also emphasised that despite good measures from the Government, institutions and processes are required to implement them.