Bhubaneswar, June 12 (Odisha.in) -Hundreds of school children assembled in a crowded place of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar and created awareness here seeking an end to child labour as they observe Saturday World Day Against Child Labour.
Wearing school uniforms, the boys and girls showed red cards to condemn child labour around the world including in their home state -Orissa. The children were also seen distributing leafleats on the subject to passerby.
“Any where you go here you will find small children working in eateries, hotels, restaurants” Nikita Mishra one of the participants who is also a cinema artist said. “We are here to create awareness among the people” said Sivangi Dash, another school student.
The event was organised by Campaign against Child Labour (CACL) a network of more then 6000 non government organizations in association with People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC), a local NGO as part of a global campaign to eradicate child labour and rehabilitate the children forced to work.
“Though we in India have a lot of laws, rules, acts and constitutional provisions on child welfare and protection of child rights, we have the dubious distinction of a country having largest child labourers” CACL’s former national convenor Ranjan Mohanty told Odisha.in
“Lack of a strong willpower at different level and lack of appropriate initiatives have left millions of children with dreamless future” he said.
“To draw the attention of the public and the government we are organising several programmes across the state on the occasion” Anuradha Mohanty, programme director of the PECUC said.
An art exhibition by children on child labour was on display at Jayadev Bhaban at Bhubaneswar, she said. We have organized the exhibition in collaboration with international NGO ‘Save the Children’, she said.
According to a government survey during 2004-07 the state has 4,00,399 child labourers, which accounts about 10 per cent of India’s child labour force, however non government organizations say the actual numbers could be much more.