Correspondent

It is aimed at eliminating child labour

National workshop to be held on Thursday

Seven special schools to be opened in Cuttack

CUTTACK: Cuttack district has been selected as one of the pilot districts along with Kalahandi district in the State to launch child labour convergence programme.

“The child labour convergence model is aimed at eliminating the child labour with the help of several other concerned departments,” said Aditya Mohapatra, Cuttack district project director of National Child Labour Project (NCLP).

For this purpose, a national-level workshop is being organised here on Thursday where the Union Labour Secretary Sudha Pillai and several other dignitaries from the Centre and State would attend.

Nodal officers of the departments like social welfare, education, health, panchayat raj and industry departments have been invited to attend the workshop.

Whereas the Social Welfare Department is looking after the mid-day meal in schools, the department would play a key role to eliminate the child labour by encouraging the children to come to school regularly, Mr. Mohapatra said adding that the education department was providing free textbooks and the health department was conducting free health-camps in the schools.

Rehabilitation

Similarly, the panchayat raj department was roped in for the convergence programme as the department would take care of the parents of the child labourers for their rehabilitation under various employment guarantee programmes, Mr. Mohapatra added.

“We are also taking the help of the Home Department, as the police force under it would assist us in law enforcement,” he said.

“The child labourers, who would be rescued, would be also given training in vocational training and for this purpose we are going to take the help of the industry department,” the project director said.

The NCLP in Cuttack has identified as many as 14,509 child labourers engaged in different sectors in all the 14 blocks of the district, informs Mr. Mohapatra. Of them, as many as 3,500 are engaged in hazardous sectors, particularly in beedi, matchbox and cracker making industries. Many children were engaged in stone quarries of Badamba and Narasinghpur blocks, the project director said. Mr. Mohapatra further informed that the district had opened 33 special schools in the district under the NCL project .