IEP Chandigarh, July 22
The Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is taking important steps to eradicate child labour from the state. Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister Dr.Baljit Kaur giving further information, said that the objective of “Mission Vatsalya Scheme” is to ensure the welfare of children caught in the clutches of child labour. The department is continuously working towards this goal. A State Level Workshop on Elimination and Rehabilitation of Child Labour was organized by the Government of Punjab at Mahatma Gandhi State Level Institute of Public Administration, Chandigarh. The main objective of this workshop was to assign responsibilities to each partner involved in the process of child rescue and rehabilitation during the “Month of Action against Child Labour”. Representatives from various departments including Social Security, Women and Child Development Department, Labour, Police and Education participated in the workshop to plan and execute effective raid and rescue operations. District task forces were also constituted under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioners to ensure action against child labour at the district level. Cabinet Minister said that rescue operations have been carried out on a large scale in all the districts of Punjab to eradicate child labour from the state. District Child Protection Units in collaboration with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) conducted awareness campaigns in slums, schools, dhabas and eateries. She said that total of 131 raids were conducted across Punjab in connection with the eradication of child labour, resulting in the rescue of 173 children. Apart from this, FIRs have been registered 3 in Amritsar, 7 in Ludhiana, 8 in Patiala, 1 in Bathinda and 3 in Rupnagar to save children. Besides, 33 challans have been issued by labour inspectors under Section 14-D of the Child and Adolescent Labour (Management and Regulation) Act, 1986 against offenders in different districts of the state. Besides, 11 children have been enrolled in schools in different districts and efforts are on to compensate 13 children under the Labour Act in the current financial year 2023-24. The Minister expressed satisfaction over the results achieved during the State Action Month against Child Labour. She appreciated the efforts of various departments, NGOs and partners, due to which the number of children saved from child labour has increased as compared to previous efforts. Social Security, Women and Child Development Department Director Mrs. Madhvi Kataria, said that the department has brought back the migrant child labourers and reunited them with their families. She also said that the Government is making efforts to provide financial assistance to the families of these children to prevent child labour.