Kolkata : SCPCR, West Bengal, in partnership with Department of Women Development & Child Development & Social Welfare, UNICEF and civil society organizations celebrated “Child Protection Day”.West Bengal is the second state in the country, after Assam, to celebrate “Child Protection Day”. This year, the theme of the Child Protection Day is “STOP CHILD LABOUR, START EDUCATION.”“The Government of West Bengal is already doing commendable work on ensuring that children go to school and complete their education. Education is the key to ensure that every child gets the best start to their lives and can grow to their fullest potential. Whether it is the much-celebrated Kanyashree Prokalpo or the bicycle project, we have made huge strides in the last few years to ensure that the children get enough opportunities and access to quality education,” shares Mr. Asadur Rahman, Chief, UNICEF Office for West Bengal.
Abhijit Ganguly spoke to The SCPCR Chairperson, Prof. Ashokendu Sengupta on the sidelines of the event.
Q) People talk about abolishing child labour. But it is yet to be done properly. What are the obstacles that have to be overcome?
Prof. Ashokendu Sengupta :It’s true.It needs a concerted attempt by the Dept. of labour,WCD and SW along with civil society.Main obstacle is lack of awareness. Aggressive sensitization programmes need to be initiated.
Q) Children are being used as domestic help.Even if the households do not want to use them,the parents of these children, especially girls push them into these jobs, initially to take a day off or in certain cases to get more money. How to avoid this?
Prof. Ashokendu Sengupta : Children need to be attracted to school system.If there be good school,offering effective quality education, in the neighbourhood only then children may be attracted.Again,civil society should effectively campaign against domestic help. Abolition of Child labour,domestic help may increase prices of goods and society has to accept that reality considering the urgency to provide a joyful childhood to our children . Role of media is also very important.
Q) Do you think there’s a need to strengthen awareness campaigns on child labour?
Prof. Ashokendu Sengupta :Yes.In order to ensure that children stay out of labour, each of us play a critical role. The Government or the Commission alone cannot ensure that. We, as citizens and as advocates of child rights, will have to raise voice and take action every time we see children working at homes, at dhabas and on road sides.