Wednesday 25 May 2022
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BBA demands anti-child labour law

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हम नई सभ्यता की रचना को निकल पड़े;
अब क़लम हमारी है और है किताब अपनी;
लिखने को,पढने को हम बच्चे निकल पड़े;
तक़दीरें गढ़ने को हम बच्चे निकल पड़े;
हर छोर से धरती के हम बच्चे निकल पड़े

Commemorating the International Day Against Child Labour, where a song with a message against the malaise was launched on 12 June by Minister of Labour & Narendra Singh Tomar in an event hosted by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and “Global March Against Child Labour” at the Press Club of India, New Delhi, the NGO’s head Kailash Satyarthi demanded of the Narendra Modi Government the passage of a pending anti-child-labour law.

“We welcome the two very important remarks that Prime Minister Modi made in Parliament with special emphasis on development and issue-centric focused activity. Time is running out. It is now or never. We earnestly demand the immediate passage of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill pending before the Rajya Sabha and the ratification of ILO Conventions No. 182 on worst forms of child labour and No. 138 on the minimum age of employment,” Satyarthi said.

Speaking on the occasion, Tomar said, “This government is totally committed to the elimination of child labour from India, and it is going to do everything that is possible, whether it is through making new laws or enforcing the existing laws, or changing the perceptions of the society. This government, which has been elected with a clear mandate, has already shown tremendous commitment to the elimination of poverty and this is going to contribute to elimination of child labour. However, those exploiting children must also be punished, and they must be punished with a legal deterrent. History has witnessed that former child labourers who have been rescued have gone on to do tremendous things for society. In India if we have to create a better future for our children, we have to protect all children.”

The minister dedicated his first month’s salary to BBA so that it can work on the cause of ending child labour in the country.

BBA has dubbed the song released on the occasion as an anthem. Its lyrics were first written by BBA head Kailash Satyarthi during the Global March of 1998. It has been composed and sung by singer Jasbir Jassi who shares a long association with the NGO.

Jassi, on the occasion of the music release, said, “Sports and music bind people. This anthem is my small contribution to the fight against child labour. And I promise to continue. I will promote this song and I urge the media to promote this song like commercial music.”

Speaking at the of the music video, Satyarthi said, “(The) Anthem Against Child Labouris not merely a song, but also a musical spark to liberate shackled innocence and robbed childhood. It is the loudest chorus to unite all voices, minds and souls for emancipation from child slavery. My feelings and emotions along with the children’s quest for freedom have been brought alive by noted singer Jassi’s magical voice and reverberating music. There are 168 million children globally who are engaged in child labour and India accounts for 5 million child labourers as per government data and 50 million as per NGO estimates.”

Tomar launched the ‘anthem’ along with Jassi and Satyarthi. The minister also launched the research report on “Economics Behind Forced Labour Trafficking: Comprehensive Case Studies of Child Domestic Labour and Commercial Sexual Exploitation’ brought out by Global March Against Child Labour.”

The anthem, which is being promoted through various media channels, is supposed to serve as an inspiration for millions worldwide to raise their voice against the scourge of child labour.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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