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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Problem of Child Labour

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The  problem of child labour is not the problem of any one state in India. Some of  those who speak volumes on this issue has child labour in their houses. This is due the fact that a child is innocent and he or she can hardly identify any bad intension of the house owner who keeps child labour.Most of these innocent boys and girls belong to parents suffering hard  far down  the line of poverty. What to do? Until some type of moral strength is built inside societies, the problem id hard for governments to solve properly. Non-government organisations at local level, and some like UNICEF at international level are working hard to solve the problem. Our governments are formulating Action Plans at all levels but the problem remains the same.

“ No Action on the Action Plan” a local newspaper reports from Ranchi on 14th of this month. I remember- 14th November is marked as the “Childrens’ Day” in India. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru the Great Visionary of India loved children and so he declared … Action might have been identified at all levels on this day, and volumes of speeches and what not … but those working at carpet weaving centres, at brick kilns, at construction sites or in Hotels did not have access to these programmes. The newspaper reports that the action plan has remained without action. What was the Action Plan? The Action Plan of the state was to check the child labour. The plan is still in books and nothing more than orgnisation of workshops on district levels could have been done so far. The departments have so far shown no activity in this direction – reports the newspaper.

Monitoring committees for child labour have already been formed on block, sub-division, and district levels- reports the paper. Still it says- no action. A letter for organisation for these committees was issued by the government on 7th November( you see- much earlier than the 14th November). The Action Plan was launched on 9th November the previous year by the Chief Minister Arjun Munda(then) and it was for the period 2012-16, and thus about one and half year has passed. It was aimed to keep away children from all forms of child labour through active coordination among all the government departments and non-government organisations, identification of child labour, protection and rehabilitation waere the key issues of the plan.

Some survey organisations have collected data on presence of child labour from some districts of Jharkhand State. According to it 6.9 percent in Garhwa, 6.8 percent in Godda, 6.0 percent in Pakur, 4.9 percent in Sahibganj, 4.7 percent in Chatra, and 4.6 percent child labour are employed in Palamu. The least number of child labour in Jharkhand exists in East Singh where it is 1.2 percent. This record is followed by Lohardaga( 1.4 percent), Gumla(1.5 percent) and Dhanbad(1.5 percent). As per data from NSAO about 65 percent child labour are employed in Agriculture Sector, 14 percent are employed in Hotels and other business places.

Key Words: child labour, action plan, committees, 14th November, Jharkhand

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