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Tough action sought against employers of child workers

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FOCUSING ON AN ISSUE: Magsaysay Award winner Shanta Sinha, along with other woman activists of different organisations, staging a dharna to protest against the rape and murder of two girl child workers, in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo: K. Rame sh Babu
FOCUSING ON AN ISSUE: Magsaysay Award winner Shanta Sinha, along with other woman activists of different organisations, staging a dharna to protest against the rape and murder of two girl child workers, in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo: K. Rame sh Babu

Special Correspondent

Shanta Sinha objects to official reaction to girls' death

HYDERABAD: Shanta Sinha, Magsaysay Award winner and secretary trustee of M. V. Foundation on Monday wondered how many more children would have to die before the system `wakes up'.

Reacting to the death of two girls who were working on cotton hybrid seed farms in Kurnool district, Ms. Sinha lamented that in spite of repeated protests and complaints against gross violation of children's rights, the practice of engaging children in production of hybrid cotton seeds goes on.

"Huge profits are made by national as well as multinational seed companies by exploiting young girls and boys, who begin to sweat and toil from the age of six , " she said.

Callous attitude

Expressing shock over the death of girls, she said no attempt was being made to see it as a pervasive issue, affecting the lives of thousands of children year after year.

She objected to the way the Collector and the Superintendent of Police visited the village, announced an ex gratia of Rs. 1 lakh to the family and promised their brother, who is also working on the same farm, a job in a nearby cement factory. The women's groups have decided to send all children back to their villages. "The solution is not in knee jerk responses, trouble shooting and heaving a sigh of relief that the current deaths have somehow been resolved without provoking mass outrage," she said. Ms. Sinha said that it needs planning, making a detailed survey of all the cotton farms in the district and constant monitoring to ensure that children are not engaged in work.


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