Prayas Participation in the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) & International Year for Elimination of Child Labour & NDTV
As a member the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 8.7 Platform with the ILO & UNICEF, Ministries of Labour & employment and Panchayati Raj and others Prayas led the presentation on the ‘Voices of Children’ rescued from the extremely hazardous conditions of child labour on the ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ & ‘International Year for Elimination of Child Labour’ in a Virtual Consultation organized on 12th June 2021. The two Covid-19 related children who narrated their poignant tales from their village homes to arriving into safety and return to childhood, were rescued by Prayas being amongst the millions of such migrating children under severe exploitation. They are-a Jahangirpuri-home based 10-year old boy from Bihar found in a chemical- bangle factory with burnt face and a 16-year old Tughlakabad-home based orphan girl child in domestic servitude for the past 8 years-both working 24x7 without any rest or payments.
These Prayas children who presented their voices and a short video are among the 32 million out-of-school children, called, Socio-economic deprived groups (SEDGs) in the 2020-National Education Policy; or, alternatively, they are among the 20 million children, defined as Orphans or Children in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP) under the basic law for the children the ‘Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000/2020. For them the Children’s homes have come as the life-saviors, the kind of protection, care and opportunities for development through education with skilling, food, clothing and home-like comforts, which can be made available to a maximum 2.65 lakh such children in nearly 7000 homes and shelters being run by the government and NGOs across the country. Most of these children being child labour in our institutions, less than 2% of the 30 million CNCP, are being covered by all government schemes giving holistic care.
Discussions led by the UNICEF Country Representative Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, ILO Director Damar Walter, Special Secretary Labour & Employment Anuradha Prasad, Jt. Secretary Panchayati Raj ( 70% of these children coming from villages) were joined, among others, by General Secretary Prayas Amod K. Kanth, Directors Vishwajeet Ghoshal and Indurani Singh, Senior Managers Prayas homes, Mukesh Kumar and Deepshikha Singh alongwith the children who voiced their conditions and demands for the fulfillment of their rights most effectively.
The huge gaps between the gigantic problems in hand and the efforts being made to solve them within the laws, policies and schemes which are not being implemented have been highlighted in the recorded programs of the ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ ILO UNICEF and the NDTV where the GS Prayas Amod Kanth raised the issues for the day.