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Leaders and Nobel Laureates meet in New Delhi to discuss Child Labour as a Global Issue

International Labor Organization suggests that there are 168 million child laborers across the world

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Child Labor major concern for developing countries
Summit on issue of child labor in New Delhi (Representative Image), Wikimedia

NEW DELHI December 10, 2016: Indian children are at a disadvantage of huge social difference not only culturally but even from the educational perspective. The Economic backwardness of a major chunk of the population has forced them to lag behind others. They are even not allowed to dream and at times they do not understand what dream is all about.

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Seven-year-old Siyam stands speechless when asked what he would like to do when he grows up. He stares blankly as if being asked the most ridiculous of questions. He was wearing a faded red t-shirt with a picture of a superhero and a tattered blue shirt. His life is confined within the filthy lane of a slum in New Delhi. He never went to school either, mentioned Reuters.

For as long as he can remember, he has stayed at home to look after his four younger siblings while his mother cleans homes and his father works on building sites for a daily wage.

“I want to go to school like the other children,” he says eventually, standing outside his one-room home in the south Delhi slum. “I want to wear that nice blue uniform and learn.”

The chances are slim for Siam.

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According to Nobel laureates and global leaders meetings in New Delhi this weekend, there are around 260 million such children like Siam and adolescents out of school globally who are at risk of being forced into child labour or even slavery unless governments take action.

The summit – which brings together figures such as Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands – aims to push child rights onto the global agenda, said organiser and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

Satyarthi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is a paradox that on one hand, the world is progressing so fast. Never before have we been so wealthy. But on the other hand, children are facing hardships never faced before,”

“Children are being enslaved, trafficked, they are working as child labourers, they are being used for prostitution. In this situation, we want to create a strong moral platform to raise a voice which cannot be ignored by governments, inter-governmental agencies and society in general.”

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A FAILURE OF HUMANITY

International Labor Organization suggests that there are 168 million child labourers across the world, with more than half involved in hazardous work in sectors such as agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing and services.

Being born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labour- there are almost 5.5 million children who are enslaved, as estimated by IL. This undermines the expectation of the people who still believes that slavery no longer exists.

Those working in the farming sector often bore the risk of injury from sharp tools, and are often exposed to pesticides.

Other are employed in manufacturing – confined to poorly lit, barely ventilated rooms in slums, embroidering clothes, weaving carpets, making matchlocks or even fireworks.

Children also work in restaurants and hotels, washing dishes and chopping vegetables, or in middle-class homes, cleaning and scrubbing floors.

Jose Ramos Horta, former East Timor president and one of 14 Nobel Peace Prize winners attending the two-day summit, said he hoped to influence governments, companies, academics, judges and public opinion and mobilises action to end the scourge.

Ramos Horta  also told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “in the 21st century the notion of a child being enslaved or being forced to work is just morally unacceptable and is an indictment of us all, of all of humanity.”

“This failure to end child labor is a failure of everyone, including those in richer countries, but we see that if we can tackle the root causes such as poverty and invest in education, for example, we can make a difference.”

He even highlighted approaches in Brazil, where poor families are given money if they send their daughters to school, and in India, where a midday meal is given to children as an incentive to their poor families to keep them in class.

“CRISIS IN THE MAKING”

Education is regarded as the key solution for ending slavery, however, education budgets are too meager throughout the world to keep children in school, especially when poverty prevails and families need to send their children to work.

Developing countries should increase expenditure on education to nearly 6 percent of their Gross Domestic Product by 2030, says  Research from the Education Commission, a global organisation.

Their estimate also highlights that by 2030 there will be 1.6 billion young people globally, yet on current trends, half of them – 800 million – will not receive a secondary level education. This could be a “crisis in the making”, both for the child who misses out and for the global economy, say experts.

Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister and chair of the Global Partnership for Education said education would be a key topic at the summit.

Gillard also said that “There is a dynamic relationship between slavery and education. Children who are in school are likely to have some protective factors around them, which means it is least likely that they will be trafficked or drawn into slavery style situations,”

“I hope this weekend mobilises a whole network behind the kind of advocacy we need on education.”

by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram with inputs from Reuters. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Sanitization to Fight Coronavius Begins in UP

Massive sanitization drive begins in UP

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sanitization
A massive sanitization drive began in major cities in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. (Representation Image). Pixabay

A massive sanitization drive began in major cities in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. This is the latest news in India.

Rajkumar Vishwakarma, DG, fire services, told reporters that sanitization was being done with sodium hypochlorite and fire personnel had been instructed to take care and not to spray the disinfectant on human beings and animals.

sanitization
The sanitization will be done using sodium hypochlorite. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Spraying will also not be done inside any building due to electrical connections.

Fire personnel have been asked to take photographs and post it on WhatsApp media groups. They have been asked to avoid calling the media personnel to the sanitisation sites to avoid risks.

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Earlier this week, about 50 migrant workers who were at a bus station in Bareilly, were sprayed with sodium hypochlorite by the sanitisation staff. Those who were sprayed, including children, complained of itching in the eyes and rashes on the body.

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Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had expressed his concern over the incident and assured action against the guilty.

District magistrate Bareilly, Nitish Kumar said that the incident happened due to ‘over-zealous’ workers. (IANS)

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People Have Faith in Modi Government to Handle COVID-19 Crisis

Over 83% trust Modi govt will handle COVID-19 crisis well

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Modi government
The Narendra Modi-led central government is leaving no stone unturned in fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

As the Narendra Modi-led central government is leaving no stone unturned in fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, 83.5 per cent people from various states “trust in government” in handling the crisis.

The findings came out in the IANS-CVoter exclusive tracker on COVID-19 Wave 2 survey conducted during last seven days among 18 plus adults nationwide. The findings and projections are based on Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).

Replying to a question “I think Indian government is handling the coronavirus well”, 83.5 per cent people agreed that they trust in government’s steps being taken in fight against the deadly disease, and 9.4 per cent expressed their disagreement. The survey was conducted on March 26 and 27. Of the 83.5 per cent who showed their trust in government, 66.4 per cent strongly agree with the opinion and 17.1 agree with the view.

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A similar survey on the same question done on March 17 and 18 showed that 83.6 per cent people expressed their trust in government in fight against the pandemic which so far has claimed 29 lives and over 1,000 conformed cases. A total of 13.7 per cent people expressed their disagreement.

Modi government
83.5 per cent people from various states trust the Modi government in handling the COVID-19 crisis. Wikimedia Commons

As per the tracker, the data is weighted to the known demographic profile of the states. Sometimes the table figures do not sum to 100 due to the effects of rounding, it says. “Our final data file has socio-economic profile within plus 1 per cent of the demographic profile of the state. We believe this will give the closest possible trends.”

The Tracking Pol fieldwork covers random probability samples during the last seven days from the release date and that the sample spread is across all assembly segments across all states. This survey covers all states in India and was conducted in 10 languages as part of our routine OmniBus, it says.

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“This is a thorough random probability sample; and we are ensuring a proper representative analysis by statistical weighing of the data to make it representative of the local population as per the latest census and or other available demographic benchmarks.”

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The data clarified that it strictly follows the WAPOR code of conduct (World Association of Public Opinion Research) for our ethical and transparent scientific practices and have incorporated the PCI (Press Council of India ) guidelines as our SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). (IANS)

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Central Government To Host AI-Focused Summit in April To Exchange Ideas on Technology

The government will partner with industry and academia for the summit called "RAISE 2020 -- Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020"

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AI
The government will partner with industry and academia for the summit called "RAISE 2020 -- Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020". Pixabay

The Indian government on Wednesday said it will host an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-focused summit here on April 11-12 with the aim of providing a platform for a “global meeting of minds” to exchange ideas.

The government will partner with industry and academia for the summit called “RAISE 2020 — Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020”.

Set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the summit will aim to charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and smart mobility, among other sectors.

Ahead of the summit, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) organised a consultation with industry representatives to bring in synergies within India’s AI landscape.

“We are extremely delighted to announce the first of its kind two-day summit – ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020′. In our opinion, a data-rich environment like India has the potential to be the world’s leading AI laboratory which can eventually transform lives globally,” said Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY.

“AI technology is a powerful tool that can be used to create a positive impact in the Indian context, further becoming the AI destination for the world,” Sawhney added.

During the consultation session, the government also launched an AI-startup challenge “Pitchfest”.

AI
The Indian government on Wednesday said it will host an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-focused summit here on April 11-12 with the aim of providing a platform. Pixabay

“The name “RAISE 2020″ came into being because we want to leverage responsible AI practices for enabling the masses. Through this summit we will outline India’s vision for utilising the power of AI to responsibly transform the social landscape for a better tomorrow,” sad Abhishek Singh, President and CEO, National e-Governance Division (NeGD).

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“RAISE 2020 will facilitate an exchange of ideas to further create a mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI in the digital era,” Singh said. (IANS)