More number of child labourers turning into rag-pickers: survey

The one of its kind survey was conducted by children who were once living on the street

December 11, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 03:04 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The survey found that 155 children are employed as rag-pickers.— File photo

The survey found that 155 children are employed as rag-pickers.— File photo

The Central government's Swachh Bharat campaign might or might not have had an impact on improving the cleanliness of the city, but it surely has increased the number of child labourers who are employed as rag-pickers, found out a survey.

A survey conducted by children under the aegis of non-profit organisation CHETNA (Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action) found out that the number of child labourers, specially in and around the railway stations in the Capital has gone up from 224 last year to 482 this year.

Out of the total number of child labourers, majority is that of rag-pickers. The survey found that 155 children are employed as rag-pickers while others are engaged in odd jobs like working at a restaurant, selling balloons and others.

The one of its kind survey was conducted by children who were once living on the street and were rehabilitated by CHETNA, was done with the aim of making the government aware about their problems so that positive measures can be taken.

“Members of Badhte Kadam, a wing of CHETNA did something which seemed impossible for our government. We have conducted this survey to let the government know about the problems of street children. Because of the government’s inability to get a headcount of the children, they remain a neglected lot when it comes to implementation of facilities for them,” said Poonam one of the surveyors.

The surveyors conducted a survey around railway stations, which is the hub of trafficking of children and has a large population of children working in shops, as rag-pickers, or at restaurants. They also expressed an apprehension that Sarai Kale Khan could be the hub of trafficking. “We also found out that the majority of children come from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, followed by States like Haryana, Assam, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and West Bengal,” added another surveyor Shambhu.

CHETNA is now planning to take the findings of the survey to organisations including National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to put pressure on the government for designing an action plan for street working children.

“Street and working children have done an amazing work by conducting the consensus of working children. I think now is the time to include our street and working children in the consensus and this issue will also be considered in the United Nations,” said Sanjay Gupta, Director CHETNA.

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