Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The State Government has prepared an action plan to eliminate child labour by 2011-12 and released Rs. 18.91 crore during the last nine years (2001-02 to 2009-10) for implementing various programmes towards this end.

Replying to N.L. Narendra Babu during Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, Minister for Labour B.N. Bachche Gowda said the action plan was being implemented for declaring Karnataka as “Child Labour Free State” by 2011-12. The Central Government too had extended the project on child labour for the 11th Five Year Plan period (2007-08-2011-12).

Officials devoted a week in a month for conducting raids on hotels, garages, factories, construction sites and hazardous industries. As soon as a child labourer was identified he was released from work and rehabilitated in mainstream schools or child labour special schools, and legal action taken against the errant employers.

Child labourers were rehabilitated either in mainstream schools or special child labour schools, where they were imparted bridge course. During the stay in special child labour schools, children were provided hostel accommodation, uniform, health facility, free food and education.Of the 387 schools sanctioned, 294 had been functioning in 15 districts, he said. Mr. Babu said the S.M. Krishna Government had prepared an action plan for eliminating child labour by 2007. The lack of political will was the major reason for extending the period.