West Bengal CII pledges to stop child labour in industries

June 12th, 2008 - 9:13 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 11 (IANS) West Bengal chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Wednesday joined hands with a child rights group, Save the Children, and pledged to stop child labour in industries. The CII also decided to rehabilitate the affected children and help them in higher education.

“I request all industries under the CII to put up a board in front of their gates saying ‘No child labour allowed’. Besides, the industries will come forward to help these children get higher education,” CII chairman of industrial relations in West Bengal S.S. Chawdhry said Wednesday, a day before the World Day against Child Labour.

“I myself will put similar boards in two days in front of my factories at Baruipur in South 24-Parganas district in West Bengal and Faridabad district in Haryana. Besides, I will sponsor one child for higher education,” Chawdhry added.

Save the Children state programme manager Manabendra Nath Ray said child labour has its roots in the factories and industries.

“Now with West Bengal CII’s help, we will be able to eradicate child labour and stop child trafficking more efficiently,” he said.

Talking of sudden withdrawal of the government’s drive to eradicate child labour in 2007, Department of Labour Principal Secretary S.N. Haque said: “Parents whose wards were serving as child labourers complained to the top most officials against the drive.”

“We realised that the root cause of child labour is poverty and illiteracy. Eradicating these malaises is a gigantic task. And hence we have decided to go slow,” he said.

“But now with the CII itself taking the initiative, our work will become easier,” Haque added.

According to the government of India Census 2001, there are 12.8 million child labourers between the age group of five to 14 years in the country.

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