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Campaign Update

Factories of North-East Delhi pledge to be Child Labour Free
Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Labour Department marched together for Awareness on Child Labour

On 12th June, 2012 on a complaint of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Delhi task force led by Labour Department rescued 11 year old Juneid from the dark and gloomy premises of a metal polishing unit in North-East Delhi. He was one amongst the 26 child labourers who were found working with harmful acids and poisonous gases at a temperature as high as 43 degrees Celsius. 13 employers were arrested and 11 establishments were sealed. East Delhi houses thousands of small scale factories where child labour is prevalent even after rigorous raids every year.

14th June, 2012 Delhi    To combat the issue of Child Labour in the supply chain, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) joined hands with Labour Department (District East), GNCT of Delhi for a rally on awareness generation on child labour in East Delhi. This march was a part of Awareness Campaign on Child Labour by the Labour Department of Delhi. This campaign is being organised throughout Delhi for prohibiting Child Labour in factories, commercial establishments, residences/houses etc, to observe the International Day Against Child Labour Week which started from 12th June, 2012.

The march was organised in East Delhi between Nirman Vihar and Laxmi Nagar, wherein various activities were performed for awareness generation amongst people. A team of ex-child labourers rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan called Mukti Caravan performed street plays to educate people on the evil of child labour. The marchers approached various market and factory associations to garner their support in ensuring that their premise is child labour free. Shopkeepers and people pasted stickers outside their shops that stated- “My Home is Child Labour Free”.

Mr. M.K. Gaur, Dy. Labour Commissioner, said, “As per the directions of the high court, a fine of Rs. 20,000 per child will be recovered from the employers and the establishments will remain sealed until the payment of the fines. We will also recover the back wages of the child from the employer as per the child's statement. Through this rally, we are requesting the owners of factories, dhabas, hotels and people to help make their premises child labour free.”

Mr. R.S. Chaurasia, Chairperson of Bachpan Bachao Andolan said, “Since Janaury 2011, Bachpan Bachao Andolan's complaints have resulted in the rescue of 326 children from North-East and East districts of Delhi who have received a total compensation of Rs. 25,20,000 from the employers. This march is a part of the ongoing efforts of our Child Labour Free India Campaign. We are collaborating with government as well as Stakeholders, organisations, Factory Owner Associations, Marketing Associations, Trade Unions, NGOs and RWAs for a larger and effective approach to curb the problem of trafficking and child labour.”

BBA Campaigns like Child Friendly Delhi Campaign and Child Labour Free India campaign garnered support from all sections of society including Bollywood superstars and more than 65 Member of Parliaments, cricketers and filmmakers. The announcement of a new Child Labour Abolition Act for complete ban on Child Labour by the government was one of the most successful outcomes of the campaigns.

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Bangalore March for Education Culminates on World Day Against Child Labour

Bangalore 12th June: Initiated by Bachapan Bachao Andolan (BBA), Bangalore March for the elimination of Child Labour and effective implementation of Right to Education was culminated on WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR at Freedom Park. Bangalore March for Right to education was the 1st phase of “Child labour Free India Campaign” in Karnataka. In this occasion the former child labour were spreading the Light of child labour free Bangalore message through Bangalore March which roamed around Bangalore from 7th June to 12th June holding the Jnana jyothi (‘Lamp of Light’) was handed over to the honorable Labour minister Mr. Bachhegouda.

First time in the history of Karnataka, Department of Education and Labour Department along with civil society organisations led a campaign against child labour and lit the lamp of light which was handed over to honourable labour minister Mr. Bachhegouda and kannada cine star Mr. shrinath. After handing over the jnana jyothi departments took the oath of eliminating child labour said by the minister.

State Program coordinator BBA Dr. Vani Kantli said that, Bangalore March was inaugurated by the Education Secretary Mr. Kumarswamy, KSCPCR chairperson Ms. Nina nayak, Mr. Doreswamy a gandhiyan freedom fighter, Commissioner of Labour Mr. S. R. Umashankar on 7th of June at Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan state office. The ‘Shikshana Janajagruti Bandi’ led by former child labours moved to 14 assembly constituencies of Bangalore likely Mahadevpura, Rajajinagar, Byataranpura, Padmanabhanagar, yashawantpur etc. children sang and danced for the awareness message, distributed handouts to the citizens, discussed child rights and RTE with children, collected opinion through signature.

Apart from this they met MLAs and councilors’ of that area and appealed them to support the objectives of Bangalore March and announce their constituencies as child labour free in within given period of time. 

Within 5 days, the team of Bangalore March was able to reach more than 20000 people directly by distributing the handouts about their rights and duties, reached more than 3000 children in a visit to dozen schools in different areas, 4 corporates in different areas and Rajajinagar MLA Mr. Nela Narendra Babu and Byatarayanpura MLA Mr. Krishnebrairegouda.

Mr. Nela Narendra Babu, MLA Rajajinagar, in the public meeting announced that, he will make his constituency child labour free and committed to the children that, he will ensure the proper implementation RTE and whole heartedly supported the Bangalore March campaign.

Mr. Gopinath, Sparsha trust and core marcher of Bangalore March thanked all the network partners, citizens of Bangalore, Department of Education, Labour and Police, especially children who participated actively in this march.

The Bangalore March campaign is organized by Bachapan Bachao Andolan networking with Child Rights Trust, Sparsha Trust, APSA, Paraspara, Mobility India and all organisations.

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Child Labour Free India Campaign inaugurates its Bangalore Chapter: March for Right to Education

Bangalore, 7th June 2012: The CHILD LABOUR FREE INDIA CAMPAIGN by Bachpan Bachao Andolan and partner organisations in Karnataka launched its state level campaign titled 'Bangalore March for Right to Education' on 7th of June, 2012. The campaign will continue the awareness on Right to Education and Child Labour Free Bangalore till 12th of June.

The ‘Shikshana Janajagruti Bandi’ (Education Awareness Cart) flagged by Ms. Neena Nayak, Chairperson KSCPCR, Mr. Doreswamy freedom fighter and famous social activist, Shri. Kumar Naik, Secretary, Primary and Higher primary Education, Shri SR Umashankar, Commissioner of Labour, Shri Rakesh Senger, Bachapan Bachao Andolan, Mr. Tushar Girinath State Program Director, Sarva shishkana Abhiayana, Mr. Prabhakar Commissioner Education and Mr. Jinkalappa Joint Labour commissioner KSCLEPS. 

The ‘Shikshana Janajagruti Bandi’ along with ‘Jnana Jyothi’ (Light of Knowldege) will cover 5 zones of Bangalore till 12th of June and the ‘Kala Thanda’ (artist group) consisting of former child labours and activists, coordinating with local NGOs Child Rights Trust, Paraspara, APSA, Mobility India and Sparsha Trust will meet the local MLAs and other public representatives and pledge for child labour free Bangalore and no child will be out of school in their constituency.

The Kala Thanda will also give awareness to the community by dancing on Education Songs and talk about Free and compulsory Education for all the children and salient features of RTE act. They will also coordinate with the local schools and BEOs for enrolment of out of school children and appeal the parents to withdraw their children from labour.

The program started with the ‘Shikshana Geethe’, children’s song sung by Sparsha Makkala Dhama children. The dignitaries were welcomed with flower sapplings  and bouquets of flowers.

The background and objectives of the Bangalore March for children was explained by Dr. Vani Kantli, Karnataka State Program Coordinator of Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Bhagyavathi and Dharshan, former child labours shared their experience of getting freedom from labour and appealed to the government officers to rescue the child labour still working in their villages.

Shri. Kumar Naik and other dignitaries lit the ‘Jnana Jyothi’ and Mr. Doreswamy released the ‘hand outs’ for Bangalore March for right to education. Addressing the gathering Mr. Rakesh Senger shared the model Action Plan enforced in Delhi and suggested that, the Government of Karnataka should adopt the progressive Action plan model in Delhi.

Mr. Doreswamy said that the government departments and civil society organisations should invest time in children’s education as its nothing but investing time in building the strong nation and he wished all good luck for the success of Bangalore March. Mr. Kumar Naik Secretory education giving his presidential note said that, education department should do the enrolment of children not only in the register but also in the school and he appealed the parents to send their children to school and he said that, the right to Education Act will surely bring big change in the society and he assured that, in the state, RTE will be implemented effectively. 

The inaugural program was mainly coordinated by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Mr. Prasanna from APSA, Mr. Gopinath from sparsha Trust, Mr. Nagasimha G Rao, child rights trust, Mr. Mariswamy from SPJ and other from all over Bangalore.

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Making India Child Labour Free
A comprehensive plan for legislative, policy and programme action to eradicate child labour and towards implementation of Right to Education

 

12 May 2012, New Delhi: Following the clarion call by the Minister of Labour and Employment Shri. Mallikarjun Kharge towards a complete abolition of child labour through a Child Labour Abolition Act, the National Consultation – Child Labour Free India by Global March Against Child Labour and Bachpan Bachao Andolan, culminated with a comprehensive plan for legislative, policy and programme action to eradicate child labour and ensure the implementation of the Right to Education Act.  The minister was also presented a children’s charter that was drafted by the child participants, highlighting their key concerns and demands for the complete abolition of child labour.

In his inaugural address as the Chief Guest of National Consultation Justice Mr M K Sarma, former judge Supreme Court of India quoting Swami Vivekananda said, “Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached. And the goal is not only to make a Child Labour Abolition Act, but to abolish all forms of child labour and its causes, and ensure education for all children.” For right to education to be successful, child labour must be completely eradicated, and all stakeholders must work together to make this possible.

“Urgency in the key word. Adults can wait our time has passed, but children who’s time is here and now and in the future, can not wait,” was call from Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour and founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

The consutlation was attended by over 60 non-government organisations from 13 states of India.

Rajkumari and Manan used to work in the mica mines of Jharkhand; Imtiaz, used to work in zari sweatshops; Razia stitched footballs day in and out; Amar lal was a bonded labourer in the construction site, Devli was bonded along with her parents and grandparents in the stone quarries, Vijay a child labourer in the agriculture shared their stories of hardship and of aspiration and hope at the 2-day consultation.

Ms Tine Staermose, Director, ILO Sub-regional Office in New Delhi referring to Global Report of 2010 the expressed concern on efforts to eliminate child labour has flagged down in light of the global downturn and that there is a need for a reinvigorated worldwide campaign against child labour. Referring to the Roadmap for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016 accepted by acclaimation during the Global Child Labour Conference in 2010, she said, “progress has to be accelerate to achieve the goals, especially in light the economic downturn and the flagging interest in child labour. The new ILO’s Global Report on Child Labour will focus on economic vulnerability, social protection and child labour.”

Mr Ravi Wig, Chairman, Council of Indian Employers strongly emphasised that child labour is slavery. “Historically there is no mention of child labour or slavery in India, so where did this come from? Industrial revolution created child labour. And our labour laws more geared towards policing and checking have not been able to stop child labour. We need to sensitise the country on child labour and create awareness on the government policies and schemes for social protection and ensure an end to child labour.”

Mr U Saratchandran, Member Secretary of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), “If children are denied of their childhood, to educate themselves, to participate in the development process of the nation, we can not progress as a country.”

This National Consultation also observes the second anniversary of the International Child Labour Conference held at The Hague where Roadmap 2016 for elimination of worst forms of child labour was acclaimed. The parallel sessions saw a rich participation of government, trade union, teachers and civil society organisation representatives. Mr Vyasji, Principal Secretary, Labour, Govt of Bihar; Mr Piyush Sharma, Joint Secretary and Labour Commissioner, Govt of NCT of Delhi; Mr Jitendra Khattar, Asst. Labour Commissioner Rajasthan; Mr Ramdev Prasad, Chairman, Bihar State Child Labour Commission; Ms Nisha Jha, Chairperson, Bihar State Commission for Protection of Child Rights; Mr Ajay Setia, Chairperson, Uttrakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights; Mr S Eswaran, Vice President Education International and Secretary AIPTF; Ms Sherin Khan, Senior Child Labour Specialist, ILO SRO New Delhi; Mr Alisher Umarov, Education Specialist, UNESCO New Delhi, Mr Suneet Chopra All India Agriculture Workers Union; Mr R Dimree, AICCTU; Mr C J George, TdH; Mr Amod Kanth, Prayas; Ms Sandhya Bajaj and other noted panelist participated in the discussions. The key highlights and summaries of the sessions are as below:

Towards a Child Labour Abolition Act
The difference between all child rights act, especially Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, Right to Education Act, Child Marriage Restraint Act, Indian Penal Code and others must be synchronised towards a comprehensive and congruent policy for the protection of child rights and the abolition of child labour.

Child Labour Abolition Act is a step in the right direction and needs to be followed by proper implementation and enforcement of the Act. The legislation must be backed by tackling the root causes of child labour, i.e., illiteracy, poverty and food insecurity, social exclusion, discrimination and exploitation. Awareness of the issues, with proper training and capacity building of the enforcement agencies, collective action with the civil society organisations particularly the NGOs will create the necessary environment for the enforcement of the Abolition Act.

Education to end Child Labour
Education has both prevention and curative aspects in relation to eradication of child labour. Child labour can not be abolished unless all children are in schools, and the right to education can not be realised in its fullest sense till children are working in farms and fields. Education empowers children not only by providing them literacy but also knowledge of the rights and durites.

Education for former child labourers is an integral part of their rehabilitation process. There should be provisions for access to and inclusion of the hard to reach and marginalised categories in education, eg. child labourers such as rag-pickers. Integrated child centric community inteventions focused on free, compulsory and quality education can support elimination of child labour and poverty reduction.

Policy coherence
Coherence is critical grassroots level, but also in terms of policy and laws. All ministries should also tackle the issue of migration and trafficking, as the migrant workers and the child victims of trafficking are the most vulnerable, and policies and programmes must converge towards them.

The legislative changes at the international and national levels must trickle to the grassroots to be effective, and must be backed by adequate will and resources at all levels.

Programme convergence
The programmes at the country and state levels on child labour elimination, right to education, protection of children, nutrition, health and others must be better coordinated. The schemes by the central and state government to be effective need to converge for the protection of children and child labour eradication. The coordination of the various programmes should begin at the Ministries and then be translated down to the village levels. Rehabilitation of child labourers must be a state responsibility and the civil society organisations can support the state in ensuring proper rehabilitation of children and their integration in the society.

About the Child Labour Free India Campaign
A slew of activities were planned by the organizers as a build up to the National Consultation on Child Labour Free India.  A campaign was launched titled “ Child Labour Free India” by Global March's partner organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan in Indiato bring awareness on the issue of child labour. The campaign has been receiving tremendous support from celebrities lead by Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Nandita Das, Boman Irani, Mahima Chaudhary, popular singer Jasbir Jassi, Deepti Naval and Sushma Seth. Over 150 former child labourers from 13 states knocked the doors of the Members of Parliament, garnering support from 63 of them in this united fight against this crime called child labour. MPs including Mr. Radha Mohan Singh, Mr. Basudeb Acharya, Dr. Prasanna Patsani, Mr. Prakash Javedkar, Mr. Ali Anwar and Mr. Abdul Rahman among others joined in to support Bachpan Bachao Andolan's initiative to demand the government for a total ban on child labour in India. Over 1,05,000 people have signed the e-petition and the number is increasing.

 

Child Labour Abolition Act
Towards complete ban on child labour and not regulation is the slogan of Minister Kharge, Union Minister of Labour and Employment, India

11 May 2012, New Delhi: Minister of Labour and Employment Shri. Mallikarjun Kharge announced that India is gearing towards a complete abolition of child labour through aChild Labour Abolition Act. In his inaugural address as the Chief Guest of National Consultation Child Labour Free India of Global March Against Child Labour and Bachpan Bachao Andolan, he said, “India’s commitment to the cause of chidlren is as old as its civilisation. All children must have an equal right, regardless of their background. We need to move from eradication towards a complete ban on child labour, towards abolition from regulation. We are paving the way for a Child Labour Abolition Act and are examining the provision to ensure that all children below 18 years are prohibited from hazardous work.” Responding to the demands of the children and the children’s charter, he said, “the progress has been slow, but I’m proud to say that we’ve been working towards your demands and are seriously considering all.” For right to education to be successful, child labour must be completely eradicated, and all stakeholders must work together to make this possible.

A two-day National Consultation on Child Labour Free India organised by Global March Against Child Labour and Bachpan Bachao Andolan was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of Labour  and Employment, Government of India, Shri. Mallikarjun Kharge at Constitution Club, New Delhi on 11th May 2012 to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue among the government representatives, trade unions, teachers and child rights organisations, academicians, UN agencies and the child representatives, and to move towards a concrete plan for child labour free India including changes in the child labour laws and policy and programme converge.  Ms. Tine Staermose, Director, International Labour Organization (ILO), Sub-regional Office in New Delhi; Mr. Ravi Wig, Chairman, Council of Indian Employers; Razia and Rajkumari and other elected child representatives from 13 states, attended the inaugural ceremony of the National Consultation.  

Razia, a former child labourer from Meerut, presenting the children’s charter of demands drafted by the former child labourers and child leaders to the Minister Kharge said, “My question to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment is for how long will children continue to work and be slaves and it is my humble request to you to put an end to all forms of child labour, with urgency.” She said, as a child labourer stitching footballs, she was getting only Rs. 3-4 per football, while the big football players gets crores of rupees for kicking the same football.

“India has grown economically in the last two decades. We’ve seen remarkable growth in the GDP rates and also in literacy rates, and still we are burdened by the largest number of child labourers, child slaves and trafficked victims in the world. This needs to change and change with urgency. The child labour needs to move from being regulated to being completely eradication, and we are hopeful that this will be done soon,” expressed Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour and founder, Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

Ms Tine Staermose, Director, ILO Sub-regional Office in New Delhi referring to ILO Global Report of 2010, expressed concern that the efforts to eliminate child labour has flagged down in light of the global downturn and that there is a need for a reinvigorated worldwide campaign against child labour.

Mr Ravi Wig, Chairman, Council of Indian Employers strongly emphasised that child labour is slavery. “Historically, there is no mention of child labour or slavery in India, so where did this come from? Industrial revolution created child labour. And our labour laws more geared towards policing and checking have not been able to stop child labour. We need to sensitise the country on child labour and create awareness on the government policies and schemes for social protection and ensure an end to child labour.”

Mr U Saratchandran, Member Secretary of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), “If children are denied of their childhood, to educate themselves and to participate in the development process of the nation, we cannot progress as a country.”

Mr N M Adhyanthaya, Governing Board Member of ILO, Member of International Trade Union Confederation and Vice-President of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), unable to attend the inaugural due to health reasons, sent a congratulatory message that said “In view of eliminating child labour and ensuring the overall well being of children, I appeal to the Government of India to sincerely take every possible legal, programmatic and policy measure to abolish all forms of child labour. INTUC supports all governmental moves aimed towards elimination of child labour and decent work for adults.”

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150 Former Child Labourers Unite to Demand for a Blanket Ban on Child Labour

New Delhi, May 11th, 2012: 'Bal Maha Panchayat' or a National meeting of over 150 former child labourers from 13 different states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh came together to discuss the issue of child labour in India and measures to curb it. The children painted their thoughts on their canvas of imagination, narrated stories of dreadful past and acted out the fears through the activities of role-play. The 'educational fun session' deduced ways to curb child labor and ease their tormented souls.

Inaugurated by Sri. Ved Pratap Vedik (Sr. eminent journalist), Smt. Mridula Sinha (Ex. Chairperson, Social Welfare Department) and Sri. Pramod Joshi (Ex-Resident Editor, Hindustan), the session kick started with a revolutionary song by children.

Addressing the assembly, Sri Ved Pratap Vaidik ji said, “The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act is totally obsolete and hollow. India has the highest school drop out rate of children. A country where more than 6 million children are child labourers, free education makes no sense to them. Commoditization of education is another problem. Unless all children are provided with quality education, quality food and quality living, RTE act can never be implemented in its true senses.”

Expressing his viewpoint on the problems in the socio-economic strata in our society, Amar Lal (aged 15 years), a former bonded child labourer who used to work in brick kilns, said,  “Equality of education and opportunities to both girls and boys is extremely necessary. In our country people still cling on to the old school of thoughts saying that a girl is a ‘paraya dhan’ (property of someone else) and therefore should not be educated. We still think that a girl’s contribution should be limited to domestic chores. But it is absurd in the present scenario. I believe that a boy, howsoever educated, may bring disgrace to the family, but a girl, if educated can definitely change the fate of her forthcoming generations, thus breaking the age old chain of illiteracy.”

Smt. Sushma Seth, veteran theatre artist and actress graced the occasion by her presence at the closing when the children proposed their memorandum of demands for the government to take strict actions to end the evil of child labour in the country.

“We, the citizen of India, should ensure that no child's potential should go waste. They are the future of our country and we cannot afford to lose this resource. I urge our countrymen to unite to save the future of our children', lets stand up to fight child labour in India', expressed a visibly emotional Sushma Seth.

Various activities were conducted in the assembly by Mr. Shrikant Dubey (Illustrative Designer, Hindustan Times), Kshama Sharma (Editor, Nandan magazine), Aneesh Bansal (Journalist, News 24),  Nidhi Kulpati (Anchor NDTV), Mr. Anil Pandey (Executive Director, Sunday Indian) and Ms. Shivani Pandey (freelance travel writer). Mr. Shrikant Dubey facilitated the painting session and garnered children's thoughts through colourful expressions on sheets. The children learnt how to defuse their fears while stimulating their imagination through the art of story telling by Kshama Sharma. Aneesh Bansal encouraged the leadership qualities amongst children through theatrical exercises in the role-play session. Mr. Anil Pandey and Ms. Shivani Pandey also taught children effective ways of documentation and media communication.

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan said, “This ‘unprecedented assembly of children’ is an announcement that children are not going to wait anymore. They are not willing to trust the leaders and politicians’ rhetoric promises. They want immediate action as every single day in wait for justice is an irreparable loss of their childhood.”

Bal Maha Panchayat is one of the activities of Child Labour Free India Campaign by BBA. The campaign aims to bring about an amendment in the existing Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, by ensuring a total abolition of child labourers in the country till the age of 14 years. The children’s meeting will continue till May 11th, where the Hon’ble Labour Minister, Shri Mallika Arjun Kharge would be present to encourage the children to fight against child labour.  Apart from the national level children's meeting, 'Knock the Door of Parliamentarians’ an activity in which children went knocking at the door garnered support of more than 58 MPs to fight to ban for child labourers.

The campaign will also have a one day national consultation on child labour to foster coherent dialogue between all the stakeholders like the government agencies, civil society organizations, trade unions, teachers’ organizations, statutory agencies for protection of human rights and the rights of the child, employers’ organizations, and judiciary through shared knowledge, building a consensus on taking ownership, towards collaborative and accelerated action against child labour in India.

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Former child-labourers knocked the doors of 65 MPs to Ban on child labour

NEW DELHI 9/5/2012: 65 Members of Parliament sitting across the party line have joined 'Child Labour Free India Campaign' spearheaded by Bachpan Bachao Andolan today. The number is rapidly increasing in support of complete ban on child labour. They have signed up a pledge letter with the groups of children who knocked their doors this morning.

“I strongly demand the total elimination of child labour. The campaign for amendment in child labour law is quite timely and so I will support it outside and inside the parliament”, said Mr Ali Anwar, while pledging to fight against child labour. 50 MPs including Mr. Raja Mohan Singh, Mr. Sanjay Chauhan, Mr. K.D. Deshmukh, and Mr. Abdul Rahman joined in to support Bachpan Bachao Andolan's initiative to demand the government for a total ban on Child Labour in the country.

Children (who are former child labourers) came from 13 different states of the country (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh) to knock the doors of MPs, asking for their support in the campaign for complete abolishment of Child Labour.

Khushboo Kumari, a 10 year old former bonded child labourer from East Delhi who actively participated in interacting and challenging the law makers said, “I don't think that our country is so poor to abolish child labour and send all children to school.”

The 'Child Labour Free India campaign' aims to bring about an amendment in the existing Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, by ensuring a total abolition of child labourers in the country till the age of 14 years. The campaign also demands for making child labour cognizable and non-bailable and ratify ILO conventions on worst forms of child labour.

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, who accompanied the children in the 'Knock the Door' activity said, “A child labour law of 1986 is an obsolete and anti-childhood legislation and in conflict with other laws like Right To Education and Juvenile Justice Act. Therefore it is non-negotiable to continue with any forms of child labour upto 14 years of age and hazardous labour until 18.”

As part of the ongoing activities for the campaign, 'Bal Maha Panchayat', a children's workshop has been organized at Gandhi Peace Foundation on May 10th, 2012 , from 10 am onwards. Children who have come from 13 different states, will further discuss the issue of child labour. Through their participation to find to ways to curb child labour, valuable inputs to form concrete demands for the change in the child labour laws would emerge.