Children rescued from puffed rice factories, hotels, fields: official
Cooperation of teachers sought in the task`Over 900 dropouts brought back into mainstream last year'
DAVANGERE: Deputy Commissioner M.B. Dyaberi has said that the district administration has made progress towards the elimination of child labour in the district, and in over 10,000 cases the children have been rehabilitated and brought into the mainstream in the last two years.
Inaugurating a workshop on "Elimination of Child Labour" for school headmasters here on Thursday, Mr. Dyaberi said that the district administration had rescued children below 14 years from puffed rice factories, hotels, bar and restaurants, seed factories and fields. He said that efforts had been made to educate people all over the district on the legal complications of employing children.
He said teachers played a vital role in the implementation of various Government programmes and were the link between the Government and the people. He sought their co-operation in the task of eliminating child labour in the district.
Mr. Dyaberi said that children's rights clubs had been formed in most schools in the district, and added that these clubs were functioning so effectively that through them children had begun voicing their demands for sports materials, libraries and other basic needs at their schools. He appealed to the teachers not to prevent the children from speaking out their minds.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Davangere Zilla Panchayat Nijalingappa said teachers should keep track of each child at school and should make enquiries if a child was absent for more than five days. He urged teachers to make efforts to halt the trend of children dropping out from school, and said the right atmosphere should be created so children would not want to miss classes.
Mr. Nijalingappa said that many schools lacked basic facilities, such as proper toilets and drinking water. Further, many teachers adopted methods that created fear in the minds of students. All these factors discouraged students from attending classes, he said.
He urged the headmasters to ensure that all facilities were provided at schools and to instruct the teachers to interact with their students with love and affection. He said children spent a lot of time every day with teachers and therefore teachers had a responsibility to mould them in the right way.
Deputy Director of Public Instruction C.U. Chandrashekar said that over 900 dropout children had been brought back into the mainstream during 2006-07, and added that his department had taken measures to ensure that children were drawn to attend school.
Co-ordinator of the UNICEF Norada child labour elimination project Raghavendra Bhat sought political support for the elimination of child labour.
He said often politicians were interfering in efforts to rescue children from employment, particularly at puffed rice factories.