DHARMAPURI: Shedding the tag of being a district infested with child labour, the backward Dharmapuri district has been moving on slowly but steadily. Besides the success stories of former child workers, in the past decade alone, more than 15,234 child labourers have been rescued from various establishments across the district.
Former child labourers from the perennially drought-hit rain shadow region coming out with flying colours in the board examinations and pursuing medicine and engineering are proof that the targetted programmes are sound.
According to data available with the National Child Labour Project, more than 987 rescued children are studying in the 23 special schools functioning in the district.
In the SSLC examination, P Siva, a former child labourer scored 473/500 marks. In the Plus Two board exam, B Vijay, a worker rescued from an establishment, secured 976/1200 marks. Another rescued child labourer, M Moorthy, is now studying MBBS, while 12 others are pursuing engineering. Apart from this, more than 166 former child workers, are into Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses.
For implementing schemes on eradicating child labour, Dharmapuri district administration has received awards three times from the State government.
Yet, the administration has a long way to go to make free the district of the social malaise. “For, there still are a huge number of children working in mechanic shops, candy industries and in the granite quarry and brick industry,” says K Vijayan, an activist.
Make state free of menace: Jaya
Chennai: CM J Jayalalithaa exhorted the people of the State to take a vow to make TN a child-labour-free and child-friendly State. In her message to mark Anti-Child Labour Day, she said her government had been keen on eliminating child labour and in rescuing the children involved in child labour. Recalling that her government has been giving everything free of cost to school children, she said those who were redeemed from child labour were given education at special training centres.