'Law is not panacea, societal contribution needed for change'

Lost innocence: Children narrate their escape from labour

“India is not short of laws. But the only shortage is the will to implement the law,” said Principal District and Sessions Court Judge, Mohan Sripad Sankolli, here on Wednesday.

He added that law was not panacea and contribution of society was essential for curbing the social evils afflicting the society.

He was speaking at the World Day Against Child Labour celebrations organised by the Department of Labour, District Legal Services Authority, District Administration, Police Department, National Child Labour Project Society and non-governmental organisations at the Jaganmohan Palace in the city.

Poverty, lack of education, migration to urban centres, besides other factors have contributed to child labour numbers, he said. Quoting laws such as the Factories Act, Mines Act and Apprentice Act, he said that employing children below 14 years of age amounted to the violation of the fundamental right of children, bestowed to them by the constitution of India.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramegowda, who earlier dictated a vow to the gathering to abhor the practice of child labour, said that efforts should be made such that the need to celebrate such days did not arise in the country.

“During the British rule, children were employed as chimney cleaners. Post independence children are found to be working in hazardous industries,” he said. He blamed both the lack of awareness on child labour and lack of will to strictly implement the laws for child labour incidences in the region.

“Mysore is known as a cultural hub. In such a centre for culture, social evils should be eradicated soon,” he added.

Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat, P A Gopal said that Panchayat Development Officers have been appointed as inspectors in rural areas to inspect instances of child labour in rural areas.

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