BHUBANESWAR: With unending migration throwing up serious instances of exploitation of child labourers in the State, the Odisha Government has decided to chalk out a common strategy which converges the action plans of various administrative departments to eliminate the menace.
Chief Secretary G C Pati on Thursday directed that the common strategy be readied and placed before the Government by November 7.
While the Labour and Employees State Insurance department is working on a Common Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour, the Government is of the view that the activities planned by all the administrative departments should be implemented in a cohesive manner through a common strategy.
Almost all the departments, including Home, School and Mass Education, Women & Child Development, Panchayati Raj, Health and Family Welfare, Housing and Urban Development and ST and SC Development are bound by different laws to curb child labour in different sectors.
Although there are at least 14 major Acts which can be invoked for prohibition of child labour, the problem has assumed alarming proportions. Apart from children employed in urban centres, the area of concern has been children in the drought-prone Western Odisha districts which witness mass migration every year.
Presenting the Common Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour, Labour Commissioner Shalini Pandit said the draft looks to arrest child labour through strengthening of enforcement mechanism, greater awareness generation, education and skill development training to the vulnerable as well as rescued children, their rehabilitation and a monitoring mechanism.
The meeting stressed on convergence of efforts among existing institutions, departments and agencies through the common strategy. For this, gram panchayats (GPs), panchayat samitis, zilla parishads and district administration will be actively involved in prohibition, registration and rehabilitation activities.
It was also decided that GPs will be asked to identify the vulnerable families so that they could be brought under the fold of income generating schemes and programmes. Similarly, the sensitisation programmes will be intensified at village, panchayat and urban local bodies (ULBs).
Development Commissioner Aditya Padhi, Secretary to ST and SC Development Surendra Kumar, Panchayati Raj Secretary D K Singh and Law Secretary Mihir Ranjan Parida were also present.