By Anwesha Dhar:Â
We, as human beings, hold a lot of opinions. Whenever we observe a larger socio-economic-political problem, we often put ourselves in it and assert that if we were richer, prettier or more powerful; we’d be able to tackle it better. But often, these opinions go unexpressed because of the lack of a platform or because of the inaction of our system. This time, CRY-Child Rights and You, an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s rights to a childhood, decided to provide both of these with its new campaign, “Open Your Eyes”. As part of its annual photo-journalism campaign, Click Rights, which focuses on the issue of child labour this year, CRY is running a hotline for the public, along with partner Gram Vaani, where you can call and talk about the measures you would have taken to eliminate child labour had you been the Prime Minister of India. The number is 011- 66032837, and registered opinions are to be shared with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Pledge your support to stop child labour here.
Amol says that he would have implemented stricter laws and if these laws are already in place, he would work on implementing new ones like compulsory education up to 16 years of age; even 18 if possible. He would also have opened a child helpline and enforced a stronger connect between the centre and the state.
Manisha Gopal says that she would have traced the very cause of child labour. The problem, she feels, is the lack of implementation of the various solutions and government programs.
For Mihitha Sharma, increment in budget allotted for child welfare, and setting up a commission with 6 effective departments to fight child labour, are highly crucial requirements.
Sunidhi Awasthi says that if she were the PM of India, she would trace the causes. Many parents, she says, treat children as a source of extra family income. As the PM, she would have talked to primary school teachers who could in turn counsel the parents, and would also open new avenues of income for these children in the form of monetary rewards for regular attendance.
For Anita, strict laws and rules assume topmost priority.
Gomal Kapoor says that education and implementation of strict law can help us effectively nip child labour from its bud.
Criticising the present Right to Education act, Akshay strongly asserts that if he were the PM, he would have raised the age from 14 to 21 years, as he believes that it has an effect on employability.
Amrita Chatterjee believes that the way child labour should be dealt with is by creating a toll free number where people would call anonymously, reporting about any incidence of child labour they come across. Their address and name would be withheld and the person guilty would be punished depending on the severity of the crime.
Yash Babbal says that if she were the Prime Minister the first thing she would do is teach parents and impose a fine in case they don’t send kids to school. Recounting her own experience, she says that she has come across many children whose parents do not send them to school, even though it is free of cost, and thus, indirectly or directly encourage them to indulge in child labour.