ITANAGAR- “World Day against Child Labour” was observed at Oju Mission School (OMS), Pappu Nallah, Naharlagun On the 12th of June 2022, which was organised by Women Helpline-181 run by Oju Welfare Association (OWA).
Underscoring the relevance of World Day Against Child Labour, particularly propagated by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), thus to fight against such tragedy, the ILO had approved observation of World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on June 12 annually since 2002 to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour. This year’s 2022 theme is “children should not work in fields but in dreams”.
OWA Chairperson Mrs Ratan Anya, in her welcome address, said that children of 6 to14 years have the right of children to free and compulsory education act 2009 and none should be deprived and violation of this constitutional provision is illegal. The OMS now has the strength of 217, most of them deprived and many rescued as child labour, and are given free but quality education despite limited resources to make them responsible citizens tomorrow. When she asked the students if they were aware of whom to contact if at all any of them is being forced into child labour, they univocally shouted 1098. Appreciating them, Ratan said that mass awareness to eradicate child labour is the basic object of this observation.
Highlighting the relevance of the Day, Child Care Institute counsellor Jyoti Moriju said that mass awareness is the panacea to remove the curse of child labour prevailing in society. They are our future and should never be cursed with illegal labour practices.
Followed by the speech by Resource person Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority legal aid counsel Techi Nech said that the Government of India has enacted the Child Labour (Protection & Regulation) Act, 1986 to prevent snatching away the childhood of children. The Act u/s 14 envisions punishment of six months to two years besides fines ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000, she cautioned and urged all to avoid child labour. Coherent action is required to ensure healthcare and social protection for all, the rule of law and decent work for parents
Respected Guest of Honour Mr Pradeep Kumar, editor of Arunachal Observer addressed and said employing children in any work is punishable under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, (CPLRA), but India regrettably had approximately 1, 26, 66,377 child labourers according to a Campaign Against Child Labour study conducted by Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) with Uttar Pradesh with total 19, 27,997 child labourers topping the list in 2021. Applauded OMS for bringing all-around development of the student and hoping that each student would become a worthy citizen of India in future.
WHL counsellor Radhe Yari with students demonstrated good touch & bad touch by strangers through a short movie “Komal”, and coordinator Kipa Linku highlighted good manners & habits.
However, to end the day, respected Chief Guest Shri. Datum Gadi, APCS, Assistant commissioner, Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) spoke that large and small industries employ children for manual jobs and cited examples of police rescuing child labourers at Itanagar. He highlighted no job is small or big, and everyone should respect each other. He said if your chairperson Ratan Anya, the first batch student of OMS could rise to such a higher position and if OMS could produce an IFS officer, why not you? Appreciating OWA for turning the dreams of many children into reality, wished the OWA to continue with renewed vigour in future too.
The children of OMS presented several cultural items viz. Patriotic dance, patriotic songs, unity and diversity dance and a skit play on the importance of education by team WHL-181 and children of OMS, were awarded a prize to all winners of the drawing competition.
Students lauded DIPRO Higio Zarngam and renowned singer Nabam Takar along with her kid visited the OMS and attended the day and celebrated their baby daughter’s belated birthday and provided foodstuff on the occasion. We are thankful to you and your family for the gracious presence and for remembering this underprivileged, deprived and orphaned children on your beautiful baby girl’s birthday day. We pray for your and your family’s wellness and prosperity in life.