A public awareness rally and signature campaign was organised by People’s Cultural Centre on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour 2019
BHUBANESWAR: On the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour 2019, People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC), a leading child rights organisation of Odisha, organised a ‘Youth against Child Labour’ public awareness rally and signature campaign in collaboration with Labour and ESI department of Government of Odisha from Ram Mandir Square to Master Canteen here Wednesday.
The campaign was flagged off by chairperson, Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board, Subash Singh in the presence of Odia film actress and PECUC’s Goodwill Ambassador for promotion of Child Rights Bhoomika Dash, Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Right to Play Anshika Routray and Olympian Anuradha Biswal.
Other esteemed guests like Kishalaya Sathpathy, divisional labour commissioner, Arun Kumar Behera, ADM, Anuradha Mohanty, executive director, PECUC, Ambika Prasad Mishra, district labour officer, Satyanarayan Acharya, Dharashree Mohapatra, additional labour officer and Kuldeep Prasad, labour inspector participated in the rally.
Speakers emphasised to stop child labour and give children a safe and secure childhood. There is need to work together to eradicate child labour and mainstream them through quality education. Though the government and Civil Society Organisations of the state are taking up various steps for development of children and eradication of child labour, it is simply not enough to deal with such a big issue.
Awareness and participation in the part of every concerned citizen can go a long way to eradicate child labour completely from the society. Every child deserves a safe and secure childhood; it is their most basic right stressed by the speakers. Hundreds of youth participated in this rally.
“The government of Odisha has formulated a master plan to eradicate child labour from the state by the end of 2025,” said Subhash Singh while addressing the youths at the Master Canteen Square. Although child labour occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture. On this World Day, we also look forward to UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 set by the international community calling for an end to child labour in all its forms by 2025.
“In support of Alliance 8.7, we call for immediate action to address the remaining challenges so that the world community can get firmly on track towards eliminating child labour. Children are not meant to be labourers. This takes away their childhood. Every child must be stopped from stepping in to any form of labour – this is hazardous for any child, anywhere,” said Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, chairperson of NACG EVAC India and former national convener on Campaign against Child Labour while addressing the public awareness rally.
Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams. Yet today, 152 million children are still in child labour out of which 73 million in hazardous work. In India there were more than 10.2 million ‘economically active’ children in the age group of five to 14 years – 5.6 million boys and 4.5 million girls, eight million children were working in rural areas, and 2 million in urban areas.
Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict. Let’s take a pledge to do our part in eradicating the social evil.