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"Parents, employers can eradicate child labour"

Staff Reporter

Tamil Nadu has the least number of child workers: Minister



RECOUNTING EXPERIENCE: A former Indus Special School student, Kalirajan, speaking at a workshop in Sivakasi on Wednesday. Right to left, the Minister for Labour, T.M. Anbarasan, and the Minister for Health, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, look on. — Photo: S. James

SIVAKASI: If only parents and employers were determined not to employ children of school-going age, the menace of child labour can be eradicated, the Minister for Labour, T.M. Anbarasan, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an awareness workshop on eradication of child labour organised by the Indus Child Labour Project here, the Minister said that the State Government had been taking many steps to encourage children to go to school. The Government had given free bus pass and uniform to over 25,000 students enrolled in 397 special schools under the National Child Labour Project, and 233 schools under the Indus project.

"Poverty cannot be cited as a reason for parents to allow their children to work. It is a betrayal as life of children would be badly affected without literacy," he added.

Reacting to a complaint from a trade union leader that applications seeking assistance from Workers' Welfare Board were being delayed, Mr. Anbarasan said the quantum of assistance distribution had doubled in the last 10 months of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rule when compared to the previous regime. Tamil Nadu had the least number of child labourers, he added.

Education was a must for all children to face the increasingly competitive world, the Minister for Health, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, said.

The Commissioner, Department of Labour, A. Sukumaran, said that 76 children employed in hotels and as domestic help have been rescued since October 2006. Four cases were registered and notices served on employers. In two cases, the violators were imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 each.

The Collector, V. Chandrasekaran, listed out the financial benefits extended to self-help groups of mothers of child labourers.

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