Published: 22nd September 2017
Coimbatore district witnesses 50 per cent decrease in child labour in a decade thanks to awareness, education
The National Child Labour Project revealed that 20 per cent of the calls that reported cases of child labour were false
In good news for Coimbatore district, the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) has revealed that the number of child labourers there, aged 14 or less, have decreased by over 50 per cent in about a decade. It has attributed the fallen numbers to an increase in awareness.
NCLP Project Director D V Vijaya Kumaar said that children form only 10 per cent of the workforce in the district as compared to a time when they made up 60 per cent of it. The district NCLP, which has the Collector as its chairperson, takes care of rescue and post-rescue operations under the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.
Officials of the NCLP, Inspectorate of Factories, Department of Labour, police and non-government organisations raided 308 units and rescued 10 children, four from other states, in five months. In 2016, such teams had rescued seven children by raiding 137 units, according to official data
Education has been made a part of rehabilitation to bring child labourers into the mainstream. Of those rescued this year, all six local children were put in regular schools, while those from other states were sent to live with their parents.
"Our volunteers will keep track of the rescued children to ensure that they do not return to the work places till they are eligible to work,” he said.
NCLP volunteers, especially college students, do their best to create awareness among the people about the need to do away with child labour. As every region has its set of places where children are sent to work, NCLP has been conducting regular region-specific campaigns and rallies to create awareness.
NCLP recieves complaints both directly and through NGOs, but have reported that 20 per cent of these complaints are false. There have been instances when they visited some places with officials including the Revenue Inspector and Labour Inspector but found no children working there. Such a raid is a waste of time and effort and frustrates the team, , added Vijaya Kumaar. They are now working on preventing such complaints.
(This story was first published in Express)