NCPCR raid 'yields' 12 child labourers on cotton farms
- Kinjal Desai, DNA
- Oct 09, 2011, 03:09 AM IST
Ahmedabad: At an age when they are supposed to be studying in schools, children are found working in cotton farms as labourers. Child labour, which is a burning issue in most states of the country, also has Gujarat on the list of state 'killers', who are terminating the childhood of children.
In a surprise raid conducted by officials of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) at farms in Sabarkantha and Banaskantha, around 12-13 children were found working even during this off-season period. The officials are in Gujarat on a three-day visit to meet NGOs working against child labour, and government officials.
NCPCR member Yogesh Dubey says, "We reached Ahmedabad on Friday and on Saturday visited Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. During our surprise visits we found children working in BT cotton seeds fields. Four children were working on one farm and 8 on another."
Two separate teams visited the farms, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Labour (rural), Vivek P Bhatt and civil rights activists Rajesh Solanki of Dalit Hit Rakshak Manch and Ramesh Sriastava and Denis Macwan of Dakshini Rajasthan Majdoor Union. However, the visit could not be extended owing to threatening signals given out by the farmers, who slowly started collecting around the officials.
NCPCR advisor Ramnath Nayak said: "While political intervention is required to solve this matter at the earliest, we, on behalf of the commission, have asked district magistrates to take immediate cognizance of the matter and file FIRs against the offending farmers. We are going to conduct meeting with NGOs on Sunday at Ahmedabad Circuit House at 12pm, to plan our further course of action."
On Monday, these officials will meet government officials at 11am and the chief secretary at 1pm.