Government mulls law to end child labour, begging

Government mulls law to end child labour, begging

Photo for representation only.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21

The Haryana Government is contemplating enactment of a law to eradicate child begging and child labour from the state.

The idea for the proposed law is being pushed by the Haryana State Council for Child Welfare (HSCCW) and is backed by Chief Minister ML Khattar.

The Haryana’s Governor and Chief Minister are respectively ex-officio president and vice-president of the HSCCW.

The honorary general secretary of the HSCCW, Krishan Kumar Dhull, said here that the Chief Minister took a meeting of officials of five departments with regard to the proposed law before the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.This was followed up with RK Khullar, the then Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, taking meeting with the officials of the departments.

These departments are related to women and child development; labour; education; health and social justice.

Dhul said, the HSCCW would follow up the efforts soon. “One line of thinking within the government is to make the police in districts the nodal authority to implement the law. The HSCCW will be designated as the overall executive authority on account of its special mandate to ensure welfare of children,” Dhull said, and added the body also had the requisite trained man power and logistics.

The authorities in the state feel the law is imperative in the context of reports that children from low-income group are exploited and pushed into begging, and harnessed into commercial labour.

Generally, the victims are children of migrant labourers. Inter-state gangs among others are at the bottom of the racket of using children for begging. They first train the victims in the the art of beggary and allocate areas for their operation.

The malaise has expanded to many cities and towns of the state, but is conspicuous in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Ambala and Hisar.

The area in which they operate include public places, including bus stands, markets, road-crossings and places of worship.

In case of child labour, the victims are made to work in shops, tea-stalls, road-side dhabas, hotels, and brick-kilns.

The HSCCW is of the view that crime of children labour is pronounced in Mewat, Jhajhar, Fatehabad and Kaithal. “The worrying part is that parents of the victims collude in the two categories of malaise due to their economic hardships,” Dhull said.

The HSCCW has launched a campaign to dissuade such errant parents with regard to the crime .

The campaign includes visits by its teams to vulnerable locations and identification of susceptible children.

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