Mangaluru: Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim held a press meet to declare Dakshina Kannada a child labour free district at the DC office here, on July 14.
Addressing the mediapersons, Assistant Labour Commissioner B G Nagesh briefed on the child labour cases which were registered from 2001. There have been 73,868 cases that were investigated so far. 71 cases have been filed, and 34 people have been penalized Rs 20,000 each. The labour department has collected Rs 6,80,000 as penalty from the 34 cases.
“Now, we are in the process of announcing the district as child labour free district, because no case regarding child labour has been registered in 2015. Compared to other districts in DK, there are no child labourers. In some districts, children work in fields and garages and exploitation of children is still going on.”
Giving some suggestions, social activist Renny said, “We have formed a Campaign Against Child Labourers and the ministers have reacted to this. Child labour is a social and economical problem, and we have to be careful while dealing with such cases. In child labour, we need to implement RT act. Before announcing DK as a child labour free district, we have to bring awareness among the people in the rural areas. We need to take the decision from the taluk, panchayat and district. Education should be made mandatory to children upto 18 years. Migrant students should be given special package. To eradicate child labour, we need to rehabilitate the entire family.”
There was also a suggestion to have migrant children admitted to schools till they are in Mangaluru. “Many children along with their parents come to Mangaluru to work in the port with the dry fish sellers. Such children should be given special packages.”
Founder of Prajna Counseling Centre, Hilda Rayappan said that from the past 15 years, discussions are going on to make Dakshina Kannada a child labour free district, but so far nothing has happened. “If we compare recent years to the earlier ones, we do not find many child labourers. The entire credit goes to the NGOs who have worked hard to eradicate child labour. But before we announce DK as a child labour free district, we have to send a declaration to every household.”
The DC said that in the month of August, the survey will be completed and then the process of announcing DK as child labour free district would start. A committee will be formed to work on the modality and submit the report.
Later, the committee was formed in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner. ZP CEO Sreevidya, ADC Sadashiv, Health officer Manjaiah, Deputy Director of Women and Child Department Sundar Poojary, Hilda Rayappan and others were also present.