Child rights panel to examine TV shows for children’s exploitation

June 10th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Children dancing and singing precociously in talent hunt shows might be a heart-warming sight to many and getting the crucial TRP ratings for television channels, but the child rights panel is not amused and has asked if they violate the law against children’s exploitation. Following several complaints about TV serials like “Boogie Woogie”, “Chak De Bache” and “Little Champs” showing young ones dancing and singing, the National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sent a letter to Labour Secretary Sudha Pillai to enquire whether the ‘work’ the children do comes under child labour.

In her two-page letter Monday, NCPCR member Sandhya Bajaj said: “We have come to know that there are so many programmes telecast on TV like ‘Chak De Bache’, ‘Boogie Woogie’ etc. in which children of small age are playing roles.

“Children are too small to do such jobs. No doubt, they may be talented, maybe that some children might do their work proudly, others are little more than slaves,” she said.

She said the panel felt that “children are missing out on education and time to play. A child who spends even part of the day working instead of going to school remains uneducated, it attracts (the law of) child labour.”

As per the law, employing a child under the age of 14 is a crime.

Bajaj also asked the labour secretary to examine how many hours the children work daily in the entertainment sector, their renumeration and what is the imapct on children participating in high-profile competitions in terms of stress, school attendance in and continuing education.

“We also want to know whether the children are exposed to child abuse of any kind or their rights are being violated,” Bajaj told IANS.

The labour secretary has been directed to file a report in 15 days.

“We are planning to visit one of the studios where such talent hunt shows are shot. We will see the kind of environment they provide to the children, who are asked to dance or sing songs that are vulgar. Why children of such young age are exposed to adult things?” Bajaj asked.

She said the panel would also ask its officials to visit such studios independently to provide them with detailed information.

“We will also verify facts on remuneration, the hours the children work, the environment they are exposed to and how it is impacting the children. We will visit the studios after our officials submit a report. We are taking this very seriously,” Bajaj added.

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