New Delhi, May 10, 2012, DHNS : Hundreds of children, rescued from 13 states, demanded a blanket ban on child labour in Delhi on Thursday at a National Council meet, the Bal Maha Panchayat. These children seek amendments in child labour laws for a better future. These children within the age group of 11-16 years used to work as child labourers and some have also been victim of trafficking.
Devali, studying in class 9 in Jodhpur, was rescued when she was four-years-old. Her grandfather and father’s family was working as bonded labourers till 2003 when they were rescued from a construction site. “I have never been this happy as now I can study and play. I have also helped more than 25 children to get admission in Jodhpur government schools. My family wanted to get me married but I refused and helped four other girls get out of this situation and study,” she said. She said that on being offered a banana by a Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) member, she started eating the fruit without peeling it as she had never seen and eaten fruits before.
Devali is an example of one child among many who have worked as child labourers. Close to 1,05,367 people have signed a petition to support a child labour-free India, presented by BBA. Also, 57 parliamentarians and bollywood actors including Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Boman Irani, Deepti Naval, Mahima Chaudhary and Jassi Jasbir have signed this petition to support the cause. The National Council meet also had paintings and narration of stories aiming at a better future. Children demanded amendment of child labour laws, making child labour a non-bailable offence and immediate appointment of trained teachers throughout the country to meet the educational needs. A memorandum of demands has been prepared Union labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge.