Even as the world will observe the Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday, some data obtained under the Right To Information Act has put a question mark on the sincerity of States in dealing with the menace of child labour, which includes identifying, locating, rescuing and rehabilitating them.
According to the data accessed from the Ministry of Labour and Employment by RTI activist Umesh Gupta, the Maharashtra Labour Department identified and rescued only 17 domestic child labourers during 2008-12, while Tamil Nadu managed to identify only nine such children. In Gujarat, only 12 children were identified as domestic servants; 21 children working as domestic servants were reported in Uttar Pradesh; Assam identified only four whereas Bihar identified the highest number at 91. For Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Tripura and Puducherry the number was zero as per the RTI reply.
Responding to this, Action Aid director (policy) Sehjo Singh called for strict accountability of Labour officers.
“The data clearly indicates how sensitive our Labour Departments are in identifying and rescuing child labourers. Amendment to the Act is a welcome step, but proper implementation of the Act remains the biggest challenge.