Child labour rampant in Banswada mandal

Child labour rampant in Banswada mandal

Banswada (Nizamabad), Oct. 1: Children belonging to poor families in the rural and urban areas in the district turning into child labourers despite the State and Central governments spending several crore rupees under the child literacy programmes.

The much-trumpeted "eradication of child labour" programme is merely confined to paper and child rehabilitation centres set up by several voluntary organisations are running name-sake. Though they are aware of the law that employing children below 14 years is a cognizable offence, businessmen, hoteliers, building contractors and farmers continue to engage children in hazardous labour indiscriminately. In Banswada mandal, child labourers are engaged in most dangerous works.

They are made to work in road-laying and building construction works at the risk of their lives. The children are forced to 'run' along with roadrollers for sprinkling water. They are also being made to carry crusher on their heads and pour boiling asphalt in the road laying work.

But there is no evidence of the officials concerned initiating action against the erring employers for exploiting their child labour. Needless to say that the child workers are playing a key role in hotels and grocery shops.

A survey by Deccan Chronicle on child labour revealed startling facts and heart-rending tales. Many children claimed that though they are keen on going to school, they are forced to work due to poverty. Shankar lamented that children were being forced into child labour by the parents.

Gangadhar working with a fast food centre children are being compelled to work in hotels, shops and rag-pickers as the alcoholic fathers abdicated responsibility of feeding their families. Asked why they were sending their children to work rather than sending them to school, several parents admitted that they were taking their children to work along with them as they are not able to procure food for them.

They said poverty was the main reason for the children becoming labourers. Taking advantage of the situation, greedy traders and contractors were engaging child labour for paltry wages and exploiting the future citizens.

Meanwhile, Kotagiri sarpanch Shyamsunder Goud, Kallur sarpanch Ravinder Reddy and Hegdoli sarpanch Shanker accused the district administration of not initiation steps to eradicate child labour in Kotagiri mandal.

They demanded that the officials liberate children from bonded labour and send them to rehabilitation centres.

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Referred by: Benjamin P. Kaila
Published on:Oct 2, 2001
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