Govt Lacks Will To End Child Labour Menace!!

Hyderabad, Feb.9 (Maxim News): Media reports said that during last month (January), as many as 223 child labour were rescued by the Rachakonda police, as a part of Operation Smile program in the district. The children were rescued from brick kilns, companies, shops and residences and the rescued kids were sent to rehabilitation centers. The police officials said that cases were filed against the managements of the companies that employed the children.

This relates only to Rachakona police commissionerate and one can surely contend that child labour menace exists in other areas in and around the twin cities and also throughout the State, and thousands of children were denied of their rights and subjected to hard labour and harassment.

What is a matter of great worry is that such reports about liberation of child labour are reported from time to time during the past several years, including during the erstwhile United Andhra Pradesh State, though the Law prohibiting the child labour practice was enacted several years ago. The Law envisaged total eradication of the child labour evil and protection of the rights of children. Even after several years, the objective of the enactment was not achieved and the progress achieved by the State Government WA far from satisfactory. Reports suggest that States like Tamilnadu and Madhya Pradesh have taken effective steps to curb the evils of child labour and bonded labour.

Sources say that the officials concerned were not strictly implementing the provisions of the enactment and letting out the erring managements and individuals by booking cases under other laws which provide for light punishments like fine, and this is not acting as a deterrent to check the menace effectively. The erring persons who were fined were not bothered about paying a portion of the amount earned from the child labour and they again employ children. This way the very purpose of the Law was defeated and the practice of child continues unabated.

Child rights activists strongly feel that it is high time that deterrent punishments provided in the Act were imposed on the erring companies and individuals so that the objectives of the Law were achieved and menace is put to an end.

Official sources suggest that there exists the Telangana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and it is having a Chairperson, six members, a Secretary and staff. One wonders what the Commission was doing, what action it is taking and what suggestions it is making to the Government to protect child rights in the State. It is proper that the Chief Minister and the Minister concerned took note of the situation and direct the officials to take effective steps to end child labour. (Maxim News)

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