Today the World is observing Anti-child labour Day. With growing number of Child population in India, the problems affecting the lives of children are also enormous. One of the most biggest and common issue in India is Child Labour. It is a startling fact that India has 12.7 million child Labourers aged between 5 & 14 – the highest in the world. Most of them work 10-13 hours a day. The number of child labourers is increasing in the states like Sikkim, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh where there was no trace of child labour some years back.
Article 24 of the Constitution of India lays down that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
The child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 prohibits the employment of children below 14 years of age in hazardous industries and the notification issued in Oct. 2006 under this Act prohibits the employment of children below 14 as domestic servants , in dhabas (roadside stalls), restaurants, tea stalls, hotels, recreation centres. Infringement of this Act, will incur punishment of not less than 3 months of imprisonment which may extend to 1 year or with fine not less than Rs 10,000 which may extend to Rs 20,000.
Nevertheless the implementation of this Act has not been effective in eradicating child labour from our society. The problem of child labour is growing everyday and a large majority of children are working everywhere even in the sectors prohibited by the above mentioned Act.
Evangelical Fellowship of India Children At Risk (EFICAR) requests prayers for the stringent implementation of this Act and that every citizen will become aware of this law and comply with the provisions of this Act so that our nation will become a better and safe place for children to live in.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
Evangelical Fellowship of India,
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance
an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.