Report and pics by Alok S, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: The Dakshina Kannada district administration, department of labour, District Child Labour Project Society and DK district legal aid cell jointly organized a programme to mark the World Anti-Child Labour day and an awareness programme about the laws pertaining to child labour here in the town hall on Tuesday, June 12.
The programme began with an invocation. Nagesh welcomed the gathering. Bhavani and her group from Prajna Counselling Centre sang a song on the life of a child labourer. Earlier, Bhavani explained her sad story as a child labourer and how she was rescued.
The dignitaries on the dais inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp.
Principal district and sessions judge Ashok G Nijagannavar in his inaugural speech quoted Basavanna and said, "All children should be considered as our own children". He added, "In life we go through different phases, but childhood is the best phase. Any person should not be deprived of his childhood. "
Speaking about the rights of children, he said, "Children are so innocent that they do not know to fight for their rights. It is the society's duty to fight for them. Lakhs of children work at the 'zari' sari industries around the country. Ninety per cent of the workers at Sivakasi firework industries are child labourers. We are exposed to the news about flesh trade and immoral trafficking of children. In certain countries, there are instances of unfed children being mounted on camels' backs, and these camels are made to run races. The cries of the children make the race more exciting. This is a saddening situation wherein some children are subjected to deprival of childhood."
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Dharmaiah said, " Even today we witness children working at construction sites and other places. In this way we can say that child labour has not been totally abolished. The main cause of this is the parents of child labourers and the employers not being aware of the fact that child labour is a crime and a punishable offence and hence they commit this crime unknowingly. The need of the hour is educate the perpetrators about the child labour law and also make them realize that good education should be imparted to these children."
Assistant labour commissioner Venkatesh Appaiah Shindihatti said that in October and November 2011 a survey was conducted with the help of officials and several college students after which eight child labourers were rescued. He invited all to work together against child labor.
DK district ZP CEO Dr K N Vijayaprakash said,"Until our society shuns poverty, alcoholism and other addictions, child labor will persist. In our homes we need to learn to do our own work and not depend on servants or workers. Doing this will bring down child labour to a great extent."
He further said, "In all urban areas of the state we notice the presence of begging children. Our own city has several such children. These children are sent for begging by their parents who to ch children. These children are sent for begging by their parents who work as construction labourers in the city, and they hail from rural areas across the state. Due to this the children are deprived of education. We are planning to open schools for such children and talks are in their last stage."
MCC Comissioner Dr Harish Kumar administered the oath against child labour as part of the campaign.
Anandamurty delivered a vote of thanks.Many students who were rescued as child labourers, and also students from various colleges in the city were present on the occasion.