Mangaluru, June 13,2017:Speaking at World Day Against Child Labour programme organised by the district administration, Zilla Panchayat, District Legal Services Authority, Labour Department, Child Helpline and Bar Association in the city on June 12, Monday; Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar said a resurvey will be conducted in Dakshina Kannada district as per Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act 2016 to ensure that child labour is not prevalent in the district.
"The district administration had initiated a move to declare Dakshina Kannada district child labour-free district two years ago. With the recent amendment to the Act, the survey will be conducted once again," Kumar said.
He felt that there is a need to change the mindset of the people who employ children in households and other places. World Day Against Child Labour should not be restricted to a day. All the citizens should consider it as a duty not to employ children. Though Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act 2016 came into existence in 1986, it is a tragedy that child labour system is prevalent in the society even to this day, he regretted.
Kumar said the push factors for the prevalence of child labour system include poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness and parents’ gullibility.
Principal District and Sessions judge K S Bilagi said that focus should be given to education to save children from the menace of the child labour. Child labour deprives children of freedom, equal opportunities and a fulfilled childhood. "When the society considers children as Gods, why to engage them for work? To fulfil the selfish needs of people, children are employed as labourers. There is a need to nurture the innocence in children and allow them to enjoy their childhood," he added.
Assistant labour commissioner K B Nagaraj said that Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, prohibits the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes where adolescents refers to those between 14 to 18 years; children are those under 14. The Act also imposes a fine on anyone who employs or permits adolescents to work. There are several rules and regulations to prevent child labour system in the society. It is the irresponsible parents who push their wards to such system, he felt.
In 2016-17, two cases of child labour have been unearthed in Dakshina Kannada and cases have been filed against those who employed them.
District Legal Services Authority member secretary Mallana Gowda Patil, CWC chairperson Nikhesh Shetty and others were present.