Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rajasthan rank high in child labour


Rajasthan rank high in child labour



JAIPUR: Rajasthan accounts for nearly 10% of the total child labour in the country with Jaipur alone having more than 50,000 child labourers in the age group of 5-14 years. The state stands third after UP and Andhra Pradesh as far as child labourers are concerned.

According to a report, " Children in India-2012" released by Union ministry of statistics and programme implementation, there has been considerable increase in the number of child labourers in the state. The data is based on 2001 census.

The rescue of 284 children from 55 child traffickers in the past two days has brought to light the ugly reality in Rajasthan. "The situation is quite alarming. If you count the total figures for the state, it will stand at around 13 lakh," said Vijay Goel, general secretary, Resource Institute for Human Rights. The latest figures available are of census 2001, but it must have certainly gone worse with the figures of census 2011 coming out in few months," added Goel.

However, the annual health survey of 2010-11 in the work status category mentions that Rajasthan constitutes 5% of work force in the age group of 5-14 years. The worst performing among all is Jhunjhunu district with 10.8%.

Interestingly, a large number of children working in Rajasthan are brought from Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. In western Rajasthan, most of these children are forced into salt industry while in south Rajasthan they are engaged in farming of BT cotton. The worst situation is in the districts of Alwar and Bharatpur where children are forced to work in cracker industry where the risks are too high.

"The prime industries where children are employed are in manufacturing of bangles, embroidery and weaving of carpets. These products need soft hands to give the finesse. These children are then pressed to work for 14 to 16 hours a day on a meager salary of Rs 800 to Rs 2,000 per month," said an official.

Source claims that labour department which is mandated to check such units are both apathetic and unequipped. Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights ( NCPCR) too detected large-scale child labour at brick kilns in Bhilwara district and expressed surprise over the district administration's indifference on the issue.

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