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World Day Against Child Labour Darjeeling: Kanchenjunga Uddhar Kendra rallies for children’s rights

World Day Against Child Labour- Kanchenjunga Uddhar Kendra rallies for children’s rights
World Day Against Child Labour was today observed in various places of the Darjeeling hills including Kurseong.
Under an initiative of Siliguri-based NGO Kanchenjunga Uddhar Kendra, programmes were staged in and around the Kurseong sub-division area to raise awareness among people against the ills of child labour.
Gyanendra G Sharma, a senior representative from the Kurseong unit of the Kanchenjunga Uddhar Kendra, said World Day Against Child Labour was observed across Darjeeling district under the initiative of various organisations. He said a programme against child labour was staged by the Bal Suraksha Abhiyan Trust in Kalimpong. Further, the Child In Need Institute of North Bengal also hosted various events in Siliguri make people aware about child labour.
Sharma said mike announcements were made in and around the Kurseong region including Sonada. The organisers also distributed pamphlets issued under the directive of the Darjeeling district magistrate to owners of shops and business establishments urging them to refrain from hiring children.
He added the Kurseong unit put up posters denouncing child labour all across the town area. A signature campaign was also staged at the Kurseong motor stand area. Later in the evening, the Kurseong sub-division Information and Cultural Department pitched in to help by showing the general public art films and animation pictures based on child labour and child protection.
However, Sharma said despite several efforts by the authorities and organisations against child labour, the practice is still ongoing in the hills. He noted it is an offence to make children who are aged below 14 to work in domestic and business establishments under the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986. Rights of children should be respected and society should stop engaging kids in work meant for adults, said Sharma. He also urged everyone to inform organisations such as his if children are found being forced to work.(EOIC)

Concern as Lopchu child labour ‘thrives’

Darjeeling, 12 June: To make effective laws formulated by the central government to curb child labour in the country, the Darjeeling district magistrate had earlier issued a notice to this effect, while, acting on the notice, the district administration and NGO's in Darjeeling have issued a warning to those still flouting the laws.
Darjeeling is on the verge of becoming the most vulnerable district in the state in terms of child labour, experts have said.
The plight of children in this part of the world was evident today when it was revealed that in Lopchu, around 20 km away from Darjeeling, some hoteliers and restaurant owners have been pressing children of school-going age into hard labour.
Officials of Baal Suraksha Abhiyaan claimed that despite requests and warnings to the  restaurant owners there, there has been no end to the child labour.
"Earlier, they said they were ignorant of the laws, while some maintained that they would stop such a practice," an official of Baal Suraksha Abhiyaan said today. According to him, around 30 to 50 children below 14-18 years of age are working in slave-like conditions in the Lopchu area.
Marking World Day Against Child Labour today, the organization, along with other child rights activists, took out a rally there in protest against such a crime.
"This is a message to them and also a warning to those hoteliers and restaurant owners that are using child labour. Still, if they continue acting innocent, we will take up the matter legally," the official said.
The notice issued by the district magistrate earlier this year is one that came from the central government on the revision of the 1986 act.
Article 3 of the revised act states that making children below 14 years of age work is strictly prohibited and those violating the act can be sentenced to three months to one year in jail, or will have to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 per child, or both.
Meanwhile, World Vision India, along with Edith Wilkins and school students, organized a child rights awareness programme in Darjeeling today.
The programme, based on the international theme of 'Extend protection, combat child labour,' saw a rally where students performed an open air programme at Chowrasta, while they also pasted stickers in hotels and restaurants that said 'Child labour free hotel/shop.'  (sns)

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