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Jyoti Basu Memorial Foundation, a non-profit and non-political social organization, today, on the eve of World Day Against Child Labour, led by its founder, Ms Rakhi Basu in the presence of danseuse, Ms Alokananda Roy and ace designer, Ms Sarbari Dutta flagged off a campaign to create awareness in the city on eradicating child labour.
Carrying the wish forward of Late Jyoti Basu, his daughter in law, Ms Rakhi Basu has been working untiringly for the betterment of children and women in the city. After working towards arranging education classes for the lesser privileged children in the slums and celebrating the festivities as the season of giving among children and women of slum areas, she has now taken an initiative to make the city child labour free with the message “Let Education Be The Wings To Their Dream! Eradicate Child Labour, Educate The Future.”
To mark the 100 years of advancing social justice and promoting decent work, Jyoti Basu Memorial Foundation decided to start a campaign on spreading awareness in the entire city on eradicating child labour, on letting the children spend their childhood learning and playing instead of working to earn their living.
“Other than poverty, family’s economic circumstances and high rates of adult unemployment, the most important reason is lack of access to basic and meaningful quality education and a lack of awareness about the harmful effects of child labour. Education is a key to preventing child labour and has been one of the most successful methods to reduce the number of child workers in India. What needs to change is the mindset of people about not employing children. People should employ adults and give the children the opportunity to go to school, learn and play”, said Rakhi Basu.
The sight of children earning their living always pained Late Jyoti Basu and always made him work towards making a childhood with full of learning and playing for them. Ms Rakhi Basu, is taking his dream to reality and planned this campaign where awareness on anti – child labour has been created through informative creative designs which are promoted extensively through digital and outdoor campaigning. Two tableaus containing the message was flagged off. The campaign will continue for the next ten days with the help of hoardings. The tableaus will be travelling all over Kolkata to spread the message.
India has 33 million child labourers between the age of 5-18. The types of child labour have changed in recent years due to enforcement of legislation, awareness amongst buyers about child exploitation, and international pressure. Child labour is now more invisible because the location of the work has changed from the more formal setting of factories, to business owners’ homes. There has also been an increasing involvement of children in the home-based and informal sectors. Children are engaged in manual work, in domestic work in family homes, in rural labour in the agricultural sector including cotton growing, at glass, match box and brass and lock-making factories, in embroidery, rag-picking, beedi-rolling, in the carpet-making industry, in mining and stone quarrying, brick kilns and tea gardens amongst others.