How citizens stumbled on a factory of child labourers

How citizens stumbled on a factory of child labourers

A volunteer of NGO CRY at an event organised on Church Street on Sunday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

To mark World Day Against Child Labour, an NGO — Child Rights and You (CRY) — organised various events in simulated environments at Church Street for the public to experience the gravity of the issue.

Apart from holding placards and shouting slogans, volunteers invited the public to enter the experiential zones to learn about one of the most deep-rooted issues in the country.

Despite strict laws, firm action should be taken to effectively handle the issue. Activists also pointed out that children will be forced to work so long as the government fails to tackle poverty.

Those spending their weekend strolling along Church Street walked into a mobile room,  where an atmosphere similar to a factory was recreated, giving a glimpse of the situation. Everything from the milieu, sight, sound, and smell of the labour environment was recreated.

Pavan Kumar, a techie, said, "Just after experiencing the condition here, I can't even imagine how the children pushed into this evil work might be suffering."

"This event exposes the general public to the reality of child labour," Parineeta Prasad, a student, said. 

Suma Ravi, regional director (South), CRY, said real change is possible if people feel for the cause. "We wanted people to experience the harsher conditions children have to go through. Lack of education has a direct impact on a child, making her a child labour," she said.   

Each year, June 12 is marked as the World Day Against Child Labour. The day was created by the International Labour Organisation to tackle the global menace of child labour.

Citing the 2011 census, CRY said India has 10.13 million child labourers, aged between 5-14. Karnataka has 4,21,345 and Bengaluru has 66,622 child labourers, the organisation said.

"It is increasingly considered acceptable in the society as people tend to see child labour as a means for underprivileged families to make ends meet," Suma added.


Child rescue activities reviewed

The General Manager, South Western Railway, A K Gupta on Sunday, reviewed the child rescue activities in Bengaluru.
He interacted with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers, senior railway officers and NGO members working for child rescue at railway stations.
A total of 983 children have been rescued since the launch of the RPF's operation “Nanhe Farishte” in July 2017.