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The Children's Parliament on Forefront to Eradicate the Child Labour

By Mr. Job & Mr. Ramjineyulu
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Hyderabad, Nov. 21. ''The child is the father of man.'' This famous line quoted by William Wordsworth refers to the importance of the child for the development of society as well as for the all-round development of the human race. Childhood is the time to garner the best physical, intellectual and emotional capacity to fulfill this duty towards the nation and to one's own self. However, this simple rule of nature has been violated! What can we do to eradicate child labour? The Children's Parliament has been on fore front in eradicating he child labour...
Mr. Mallikarjunrao, a Bosco Seva Kendra (BSK) volunteer initiated the Children's Parliament in  Devangapuri of Chirala mandal, Prakasam District  on  July 27th 2009. The Yenadi (ST - Scheduled Tribe) families belonging to this colony survive by traditional fishing, hunting small animals and catching rats. The ST colony is a neglected area, without proper roads, school and housing. The Yenadi community often finds itself excluded from the mainstream democratic- developmental processes. The children parliament is now making a difference.

In a meeting of the children's parliament held on August 15th 2010, the Education Minister, Ms. Sivaparvati brought to the notice of the members a serious problem affecting the children of the colony.  She mentioned that a contractor from Hyderabad was recruiting children below 14 years for the construction work. The contractor is Mr. M.Venkateswarulu of Chirala. She said that the parents of Pamulapati Rama Krishna and Kakinati Jalaiah, had taken a  Rs.10, 000 and 5, 000 each as advance from the contractor. striking on the weakness of these poor people who are unable to pay the loan, the contractor had recruited their children as construction labourers.

The construction business in major cities like Hyderabad, Visakapatnam attract cheap rural labor. The high rate of drop -outs from local schools offers a vast pool of cheap child  labour (children are paid less and easier to manage). The parents appreciate the advance paid and hope their wards will become ''maestiris''(masons) and graduate to be contractors in dream city of  Hyderabad.

In the meeting each Minister had reported separate problems affecting the children.  The Prime Minister, Mr. V. Ravi selected this problem of child labor for discussion in the parliament. The members knew, the children and their families are now preparing to grab the opportunities in Hyderabad.  In the colony or in the surrounding villages, no one ever finds anything wrong in sending the children to Hyderabad with a contractor. But now the children speak as members of ''Children's Parliament.''

Every Member in the parliament suggested that the children (below 14 years) should be prevented from going to Hyderabad as construction workers. The resolution was passed. They planned, the Ministers and members of the Devangapuri Children's Parliament would meet the two children and their parents and try to dissuade them from sending the children to Hyderabad.

The action plan was drawn up: On 20-8-2010 at 4.00 PM the prime minister, Education minister and other ministers met the parents of the two children. They enlightened the parents regarding the existing problem of child labor and evil effects of their stay in major cities and towns.After that, they  met the contractor in order to release the two children and to pressurize him  to tackle the problem of child labor. Finally the parents returned the advance paid to the contractor. The two children are back in school now.    

This news of courageous action taken by the members of the Children's Parliament reached the the school teachers and the Sarpanch (head of village) of Devangapuri.  Though initially shocked, they were regretful for not having responded in the elimination this, social evil.

They all congratulated the members of the Children's Parliament for preventing the recruitment of the child laborers.



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