Former child labourers want education to get priority

October 27th, 2010 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) A group of former child labourers Wednesday sent Diwali greetings to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, adding that parliamentarians should take up the issue of education.

They said children like them had their hopes pinned on MPs for effective implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Brought together by NGO National Coalition for Education (NCE), the group of 35 children - all aged between 10-16 - met more than 100 MPs during the monsoon session of parliament to mount pressure on them to take up the issue of education.

Jainab, a 13-year-old who is member of the group, said: “When we met the parliamentarians, we raised questions on out-of-school children, budget spending on education, infrastructure in schools and the implementation of the Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.”

“Based on our discussions, many related questions were raised by MPs in both houses of parliament. We will meet them again during the next session, which begins Nov 9 so that the issue is not forgotten,” she added.

According to an official of NCE, “as many as 343 questions were raised on the topic of education” during the monsoon session.”

The parliamentarians who met the children included Sushila Saroj, Narayan Singh Amlabe, and Usha Verma.

The children also sent their greetings to editors of national dailies and voluntary organisations, besides parliamentarians.

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