On the occasion OWA chairperson Anya said adding the event aimed at highlighting the agonies of child labourers.
Women Helpline-181 (WHL-181) and One Stop Centre, TRIHMS (OSC) run by Oju Welfare Association (OWA) in collaboration with children home observed World Day Against Child Labour in OWA’s Naharlagun campus on Wednesday.
Working for the society poses numerous challenges, lawyer-cum-social activist Kani Nada Maling said while addressing the rescued child labourers, orphans, helpless women sheltered in OWA and others as chief guest. The grants from the government are small amount and in OWA chairperson Ratan Anya alone knows how she has been running the philanthropic organisation since she took over after death of founder-chairperson Padmashree Lt. Binny Yanga.
Kani Nada Maling, currently the Capital Complex Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairperson and simultaneously holding the position of secretary-general Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society, recalled Yanga saying that she was surviving due to blessings of her inmates despite her ill health and had urged her to continue to help OWA to sustain.
She exhorted all inmates to respect and obey their custodians who were working hard to give them a secured life by creating a homely environment in OWA with their love and care, giving skill training to become self-reliant.
Pointing out that 2011 national census of India found total 10.1 million child labourers aged 5–14 working in hazardous industries, hotels, homes etc. and their number has been growing but none cares, OWA chairperson Anya said adding the event aimed at highlighting the agonies of child labourers.
She heaped praises on Maling, who has been instrumental in freeing 92 per cent of over 350 child labourers rescued since 2013 and sheltered in OWA for their rehabilitation while she locates their parents to take back their children to give them a decent life.
The founder’s blessing from heaven cannot be ruled out as she had worked selflessly with commitment for the OWA to become a life giver for orphans, sexually assaulted minor girls, neglected by the society, victim of social evils to name a few, she said, adding all staff have been working selflessly in caring the inmates and giving them various skill training.
As per Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, amended in 2016 (CLPR Act), a “child” is defined as any person below the age of 14, and the CLPR Act prohibits employment of a child in any employment including as a domestic help. It is a cognizable criminal offence to employ a child for any work, both of them cautioned.
Both of them appreciated senior journalist Pradeep Kumar for his consistent association with the OWA and extend help whatever possible.
Kumar, known as a spot poet, composed and recited a song describing children as multi colour flowers of the society whose exploitation is a crime.
WHL manager Binny Yachu and senior call responder Thuha Apralo highlighted the objectives behind their endeavors before the rescued child labourers and Swadhar Greh inmates presented a colorful cultural programme to showcase what they have been taught in OWA.
CWC member-cum-OWA legal aid cell advocate Oyam Binggep, among others, attended the function.
In 2016 alone, 89 child labourers were rescued by the police, under Operation Smile and Operation Muskan II at the directive of Supreme Court of India, according to children home superintendent J Tangjang.
Few of the child labourers, explaining their treacherous life, termed Maling as god mother to rescue them from hell and put them in a heaven run by another god mother Ratan. All of them hesitant to return home while few after going home returned again, which explain the love and care they receive in OWA. The adolescent ones were critical and questioned as to why the state government and other NGOs have so far failed to recognize the selfless service of their god mothers.