‘Women need to be aware of the ill-effects of engaging children in work’
Mallika Begum vows to work for street children Forum claims to be rescuing at least 20 children a day
VIJAYAWADA: Underscoring the need to create awareness among women against engaging children for work, Mayor Mallika Begum on Sunday said that she would spend her time to serve street children after completing the obligations of her political career.
Addressing the valedictory of the 10-day campaign against child labour here, Ms. Begum said that she had done a mistake some 10 years ago by engaging a 10-year-old girl as her maid servant in her home.
“By then, I was not into political life and as a housewife I did not know about issues like child labour and child rights,” she said, adding that there were many women in the city who had no knowledge about such issues.
Stating that it was the responsibility of the society to eradicate child labour, Ms. Begum said that the cause required support from various quarters of the society.
She observed that many traders were engaging children in work. “Ironically, many poor people are under the impression that they could earn a pittance by sending their children to work. They are unaware of the fact that it would affect the future of the children,” she observed.
Ms. Begum said that the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation would extend full support to the drive against child labour.
Responding to an appeal made by the representatives of the Forum For Child Rights (FFCR), she said that she would table a proposal in the next general body meeting of the VMC seeking a resolution to display slogans against child labour on hoardings in different parts of the city.
Treasurer of the FFCR B.S. Koteswara Rao said that the forum was rescuing at least 20 children a day and sending them to different rescue shelters.
“The 1098 service has been popularised in the entire Krishna district. We hope the forum will become a role model for like-minded persons and institutions to open similar organisations in neighbouring districts,” he said.
Project Director of the National Child Labour Programme K. Siva Sankara Rao, Assistant Labour Commissioner B. Venkata Reddy, Project Director of Rajiv Vidya Mission N.V.R. Anand Babu, members of the child working committee M.C. Das and V. Rajamani were present. Cultural extravaganza by street children kept the audience spellbound.