The National Child Labour Policy was approved by the Cabinet on 14th August 1987 during the Seventh Five Year Plan Period. The policy was formulated with the basic objective of suitably rehabilitating the children withdrawn from employment thereby reducing the incidence of child labour in areas of known concentration of child labour.
Main Ingredients: The policy consists of three main ingredients:-
Legal Action Plan – With emphasis laid on strict and effective enforcement of legal provisions relating to child labour under various labour laws;
Focusing of general development programmes – Utilization of various ongoing development programmes of other Ministries/Departments for the benefit of child labour wherever possible;
Project-based plan of action- Launching of projects for the welfare of working’ children in areas of high concentration of child labour.
The number of Child Labours as per the 1991 census was over 1.1 crores. Keeping in mind constraints of resources and the prevailing level of social consciousness and ‘awareness, the Government has fixed the time till the end of the loth Plan to eliminate child’-labour in the hazardous sector. Elimination of all forms of child labour itself is a progressive process beginning with elimination efforts in the hazardous areas.
Target Group: Under the scheme, the target group is all the children below 14 years of age and working in:
- Occupations and processes listed in the Schedule to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986; and/or
- Occupations & processes, which adversely affect their health and psyche
- In the latter category, the hazardousness of the employment towards the children should be reasonably established.
Programme Components: Some of the important components are;
- Special Schools (Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Centres)
- Awareness Generation
- Convergence of Services
- Enforcement Legal Action
Certain important and enhanced parameters:
- Stipend: The monthly stipend of Rs.100/- per month per child will be disbursed only after the child is successfully mainstreamed into formal have been system of schooling. Till that period, the amount of stipend will be regularly deposited in the Bank Account of the child.
- Nutrition: The amount for provision of nutrition to the children in the special schools has been doubled from Rs. 2.50/- per child per day to Rs. 5/- per child per day.
- Health component: In the scheme an amount of honorarium (Rs. 5,000/- per month for one doctor for every 20 schools) has been provided to put in place an institutionalized mechanism for regular and periodical effective health care of the children by a doctor. A health card in respect of every child also needs to be maintained with all the necessary entries.
- Vocational Training: In the existing scheme, there was no separate budgetary provision for the services of any Master Trainer for imparting training to the children/teachers. In the revised scheme, budgetary provision (Rs. 5,000/- for one Master Trainer for each NCLP) has been provided to hire the services of a Master Trainer for each NCLP.
- Training for educational teachers: In the existing scheme, there was no separate budgetary provision for providing training to the educational teachers. In the revised scheme, budgetary provision has been provided to impart training to the teachers twice during the 10th Plan period.
- In the revised Scheme, provision (Rs. 2.75 lakh per survey) has been made to conduct surveys of working children two times during the 10th Plan period.
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