Child labour will go by 2008, says govt

Child labour will go by 2008, says govt

CM assures speedy approval and funds for the programme

Parikshit Joshi

The state government’s administrative college, YASHADA (Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration), has chalked out a detailed action programme to eradicate the practice of child labour.

The programme, involving altogether 25 departments including those of labour, education, police, women and child welfare, health and revenue, has set a deadline of 2008 for eradicating the practice of child labour.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has assured an early approval for the programme as well as funds needed for its implementation.

While labour commissioners and district collectors will be working in their respective jurisdictions to root out child labour, a co-ordination committee headed by state’s chief secretary will oversee the programme’s implementation and evaluation at the state level.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil had set a deadline of August 15, 2006 to do away with the practice in Mumbai. But sources in the labour commissioner’s office said it would not be possible to meet the deadline.

They said the labour commissioner’s office along with the BMC, police and NGOs had undertaken a drive against child labour in the city. Altogether 38 raids were conducted at units where child labourers were working and 1,541 children were rescued.

However, they agreed that the number of children employed in zari, jewellery and leather units is still high. “We need to take a systematic campaign besides creating awareness among the people,” they said.

VITAL STATS

• According to the 2001 census, the number of child labourers in Maharashtra was 7.06 lakh. Previously, it was 10.68 lakh.

• The state has 6.07 per cent of the total number of child labourers in the country.

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