NEW DELHI: The number of child labourers rescued and rehabilitated under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) has gone up by 46.3 per cent in India, according to the Labour ministry’s data on Monday.
From 30,979 kids in 2016-17, the number of such children swelled to 45,344 in 2017-18.
“This just shows how well our department is working. We have been successful in rescuing more number of children stuck in the horrible world of child labour. We will make more efforts to ensure that child labour is completely eradicated from the country,” an official in the department of child labour welfare said.
West Bengal topped the list with 16,048 rescued children. It is followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra with 11,400 and 4,843, respectively. Chhattisgarh saw a staggering 2,800 per cent as it had 2,800 rescued kids in 2017-18 — up from nil in 2016-17. Similarly, Assam saw twice the number of such cases: 915 in 2017-18, up from 434 in 2016-17.
While Haryana saw the number of children rescue drop from 40 in 2016-17 to zero in 2017-18, Rajasthan reported a fall from 630 in 2016-17 to 105 in 2017-18. Uttar Pradesh saw a fall of 3,066 per cent as no children were rescued in 2017-18. The previous year the northern state had rescued 3,066 child labourers.
The number of convictions under the Child Labour Act also dropped marginally from 676 in 2016-17 to 667 in 2017-18. The most convictions took place in Uttar Pradesh, which saw 361 people being put behind bars for after conviction under the Child Labour Act. Punjab (184) and Karnataka (36) also had significant convictions under the Act.