09-11-2017 09:30 AM
Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream      34
Special pavilion provides food and education to child laborers
The week-long Baliyatra festival is on in Cuttack and the district administration is using this opportunity to check child labor with the effect that it is yielding good results.
A special pavilion has been set up at the fair for child laborers by the administration. The children are provided food, education, entertainment and vocational training completely free of cost. Nearly 50 children who were forced to work are visiting the pavilion attracted by the activities.
District child protection officer Pragati Mohanty said every year officials and volunteers would rescue the children engaged in different odd jobs at the Baliyatra and convince their parents not to involve them in menial jobs.
Yet their efforts went in vain as parents would engage the children in selling some items at the fair or begging. They contended that they didn’t have a safe place to keep their children and hence force the kids to work with them.
Mohanty said that special day care centre for child laborers at the Baliyatra and have been set up to resolve this issue. The initiative has worked as child laborers, who have come from Bihar, West Bengal and other parts of the country, are coming to the centre on their own.
The children are provided basic education and mid-day meals. They play different games and trained to make items from paper and clay. Besides, the children are sensitized about child labor and abuse at the centre.