New Delhi, June 12: Children up to 18 years of age must be brought under the Right to Education Act to effectively address the issue of child labour in the country, an NGO said Sunday on the occasion of the World Anti-Child Labour Day.
CRY (Child Rights and You) launched a campaign against child labour at Dilli Haat demanding the complete prohibition on all forms of child labour across the country.
‘This is just a baby step. The law against child labour covers only 16 sectors where child labour is prevalent in India. Through this campaign we want to cover all the remaining sectors as well,’ CRY director Yogita Verma told IANS.
According to CRY, India has the highest number of child labourers in the world despite a government ban on the practice.
‘Compulsory education only till 14 years of age means we are indirectly enforcing child labour after class 8. We want to make sure that all children get free education till the age of 18,’ said Verma.
A short play – ‘Chotu’ – was performed by some volunteers, showcasing the widespread prevalence of child labour in the national capital while a photo exhibition and several posters, banners and placards urged people to ‘send children to school, not work’.
Further, results of an online and on-the-spot thumbprint campaign supporting the demands were presented to Sashank Shekhar, member of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).
‘I completely support this initiative by CRY and this movement is very close to my heart,’ Shekhar told IANS.
CRY is campaigning in seven districts of Delhi, where it has presence through its NGO partners, to mobilise children and their parents into supporting children’s right to education, care and protection.