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Parents and the communities should be made to realize that a child belongs to school and not to fields and factories.
Working in the remotest corners of the country, NGOs like Save the Children run programmes at the ground-level to eradicate child labour.
Most programmes focus on children in specific types of work, for example cotton production in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, metalwork and carpets in Uttar Pradesh and tea gardens in Assam.
These programmes reach tens of thousands of children and their families in areas with high levels of child labour.
But real good news emerged in the findings of 2011 Census which revealed that the number of working children in the age group of 5-14 years had plummeted significantly to 43.53 lakh.
This was the result of several grass root level initiatives taken by the government (both Central and State) and NGOs like Save the Children to tackle the menace of child labour.
The Act had a ‘Schedule’ which would enlist the hazardous occupations and processes.
This Schedule was progressively expanded during the next many years on the basis of the recommendations of the Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee constituted under the Act.
At the same time, it robs children of their true potential, hampers their physical and mental health and goes against their dignity.
Poor education that goes hand in hand with child labour plagues India and is a big roadblock in India’s economic development.