No end to scourge of child migration

Sources said the number could be more as there is no record of migrant labourers with the authorities concerned.

Published: 03rd December 2019 07:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 11:34 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BALANGIR: With the State Government having no plan to address the issue of child migration, a whopping over 30,000 children are estimated to be leaving their homes in Balangir and Nuapada districts to work as migrant labourers in brick kilns across the country every year.

Sources said the number could be more as there is no record of migrant labourers with the authorities concerned. What’s worse is that children working in brick kilns are not paid wages by the owners.Purna Chandra Panda, a social activist said labour agents exploit children by telling their parents that certain jobs at brick kilns can be performed only by those who are not tall and have small hands.

However, they just want to ensure the cost of input in brick kilns is kept low by hiring such workforce. Children of migrant labourers  drop out of schools every year for a few months which eventually leads to their complete exclusion from studies.

“This is how their futures are sealed and the path is paved for the next generation of migrant labourers and continuance of this vicious circle,” he said.

Shortage of seasonal hostels and absence of a plan to address the issue has aggravated the crisis in the district. Social activist and trade union leader Lalit Kumar Naik said such children often join the stream of cheap migrant work force once they grow up. “The need for effective policy to address migration of child workers cannot be overestimated,” he said.

However, Prashant Saraf, an official of Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan said the district administration will soon opened several seasonal hostels in the district where around 3,500 children will be accommodated.

At present, 42 such facilities are functioning in the district where around 2,000 children have been accommodated.

District Labour Officer SK Behera said the number of children migrating from Balangir could be less than estimated. He said efforts are on to register all labourers in the district and to provide them with jobs under MGNREGA. Besides, more schools for children of labourers will soon be opened.

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp