This refers to the editorial, `Enforcing the ban' (Oct. 20). Unlike in public establishments, it is not easy for the authorities to locate child labour in individual homes. Even if the authorities concerned, on receiving specific information, enter a house and find a child "employed" there, he or she would have been adequately tutored to behave like a distant relative of the family. The only way out is to impress upon the people through extensive propaganda that child labour is not just illegal but immoral too.
The provisions of the Child Labour (Prohibition) Act should be made punitive. The need of the hour is to set up a Child Rights Commission, which should take note of and prevent the exploitation of children.
The enactment of the Child Labour (Prevention) Act and the subsequent raids conducted jointly by various government agencies have been widely publicised by the media. But the measures envisaged for rehabilitating the children thus rescued have not got the attention they deserve. It is mostly the poor and the illiterate families who depend on children to supplement the family income. Such families need to be convinced that the alternative offered is better than their present condition. Also, there should be a thrust towards solving the bigger problem of poverty if the drive towards eliminating child labour is to be successful.