The Jharkhand Government in order to eradicate child labour from State has inked an MoU with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) established by Noble Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
Foundation is working extensively in mica mining areas of Koderma, which employs numerous underaged workers.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das along with Kailash Satyarthi was at Koderma on Sunday where he reaffirmed his commitment to the cause. In a first of its kind initiative, the KSCF is committed to create Child Labour Free mica in Jharkhand.
Children in the district are involved in various stages of mica mining using simple tools to get crude mica loose from rocks and digging holes which are more than 10-metres deep. Caught in the web of exploitation, children drop out of schools. The foundation has been working in the mica mining region since 2005.
Batting for the effort the CM said, “Eradication of child labour has been my goal. Being a Labour Minister I myself had raided places where the practice was on. State Government has formulated laws for this but poverty is in the roots of child labour. We are working hard against poverty and believe that soon child labour to be eliminated along with that from Jharkhand,” Das said.
He named steps like providing nutritious food along with education to the children at Anganwadi, deployment of sahias and sevikas besides others which have helped in upbringing of the children born in under privileged families, especially in tribal dominated villages.
The CM on the occasion also urged the Nobel laureate to set up Bal Panchayat Samittees all over the State. “The Government is with you. We also want child labour to stop. Bal Mitra coordinators would be paid Rs 500 as stipend. The Government is also acting against placement agencies who have been exploiting women and children in the name of placement,” said the CM and directed Labour Department to record entire details of such agencies functional in the State.
He also appealed people to treat their children equally irrespective of their gender and informed them about the schemes and measures taken by the Government in this regard. “We worship women during festivals and respect them. In real life we also need to empower women. They are essential for existence of human kind and source of culture in our society,” he added.
Coming to employment front, the CM said 1 lakh more youth will be provided with jobs by January 12. “With the changing time importance of education degrees are diminishing and instead importance of skill is growing. We have already provided jobs to 34,000 in private sector. We have appointed teachers and filled vacant positions. But at the same time you should look for self-employment, modern faming etc to earn livelihood since providing Government jobs to everyone is not possible,” said the CM in the presence of HRD Minister Neera Yadav and Barkatta MLA Janki Prasad Yadav.
Satyarthi on the occasion also praised the CM for his seriousness for the elimination of child labour and expressed hope that the State would be free from this menace one day. “I express my respect to the sentiments of the CM he has shown towards the plight of the innocent lives. I have spent my early life here in Koderma which has been the force that replicated into the Nobel Prize,” said he and added t that his struggle would continue until children are restored their childhood.
Talking about mica production, Satyarthi said that he is not against the industry but children should be spared from this with assurance that no illegality is involved into all this.