In a rather straight-talk on his part, chief civil judge Mustafa Hussain said the educated class is a major culprit in encouraging child labour, since they engage child labourers in their homes to tend to their children.
He was addressing the participants at an event organised to create awareness against engaging child labour in Hassan on Tuesday.
The event was held at Hasanamba Kalakshetra, organised jointly under the auspices of District Legal Services Authority, district administration, labour department and Bar Association.
Addressing the audience, district sessions judge K B Chengappa said it’s an offence to even encourage child labour. “The general public must join hands with the authorities concerned in eradicating this practice.
Though it is visible to everyone that children are being employed at places frequented by the general public, people seldom care about it. It should bother us that these children are deprived of education. We should encourage them to enrol themselves into school,” he said.
As for penalty and punishment, both the employer and the one who forces children into working before the age fixed by the government, will attract punishment, he added.
Women and children welfare deputy director A Chidananda said the staff members of about 11 government schools were being trained to address the grievances in the absence of a children’s helpline. This will work as a unit to eradicate child labour in the district, he added.
A jatha was taken out on the occasion, highlighting the evils of child labour. ZP CEO Anjan Kumar and others were present on the occasion.