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The number of child labourers in India is close to 1.4 million: CRY

A total of 45 per cent child labourers in Bihar, 40 per cent in Rajasthan and Jharkhand, 38 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are illiterate

Child Labour Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Child Rights and You (CRY) released a film named ‘Contrast’ on 10 June.
  • One in every three child in the age group 7-14 is deprived of education and is working as a child labourer
  • There is 37% increase in child labourers in the category of 5-9 years in the last ten years

Keeping ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ on June 12 in mind, Child Rights and You (CRY) released a film named ‘Contrast’ on Friday. The film, unveiled at Le Sutra Gallery in Khar West, sheds light on the terrible problem of child labour in India and how education can play a role in combating it.

CRY, formerly Child Relief and You, is a national level NGO having 30 years of experience in working with parents as well as communities to bring changes in the lives of more than 20 lakhs underprivileged children.

Based on CRY analysis and Census data 2011, one in every three child in the age group 7-14 is deprived of education and is working as a child labourer.

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“Close to 1.4 million child labourers in India in the age group of 7-14 years cannot write their names. This means one in three child labourers in the said age group is illiterate,” an analysis of Census data by CRY- Child Rights and You revealed.

According to child labour laws in India, a child can work after school hours to support the family business, but on conditions that it doesn’t adversely affect the child’s education or health. CRY further states that child labour laws in India have led to a “shocking two millions of marginal workers in compromising their education.”

Child Labour Image: Wikimedia Commons
Child Labour Image: Wikimedia Commons

The depressing reality of the situation is that children who help in running their family business often drop out from schools due to pressure of earning. Many a times, severe impoverishment drives these children into becoming the sole breadwinners of their homes.

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“It is absolutely disheartening to see a 37% increase in child labourers in the category of 5-9 years in the last ten years. In tender years where they should be learning to hold a pencil, they are compelled to take up the burden of playing economic roles,” said Komal Ganotra, director, Policy and Advocacy of CRY. 

A total of 45 per cent child labourers in Bihar, 40 per cent in Rajasthan and Jharkhand, 38 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are illiterate. Census 2011 data states that “6.5 million children in India in the age group of 5 to 14 work in agriculture and household industries.”

CRY opines that allowing these children to work in family enterprises under the law exposes them to the risks of future illiteracy and unemployment. It further hinders their overall development and mental well-being.

As per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Article 32, ratified in 1992, the Government of India had articulated that it would “progressively ban all forms of child labour.” Accordingly, children under 14 years of age would be exempt from all kinds of labour.

Despite the above, India has made no proposals to implement the same in its latest child labour laws, CRY states.  Also, the new law “allows children in this age group to work in family occupations after school hours”, which increases their potential risks of a long-term association with the ill effects of child labour.


-by Maariyah Siddiquee, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid




  • devika todi

    the statistics are appaling! the government should look into the matter.

  • sahil nandwani

    The child labour is increasing day-by -day which led to make the country illiterate and poor. I think that the government should take the strict measures to stop child labour.

  • Paras Vashisth

    Child labour is a ‘dark stain’ for the country.It reflects very badly and needs to be wash out completely.

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An Initiative towards Ruling out Child Labour in Andhra Pradesh by several Government departments and NGOs

The sole intention of the committee is to induct children into education institutions, execute raids and educate the people.

Child Labour, VOA
  • The kingpin intention of the committee is to induct children into education institutions, execute raids and educate the people
  • The drive will be conducted from June 12 to 18
  • Child labor can be eradicated through proper enrolment of children in schools, identify dropouts and admit them in schools

Andhra Pradesh, June 1, 2017: A committee has been constituted by the officials of various government departments and NGOs with the motive of driving against the child labor in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh. This drive will be conducted from June 12 to 18.

The kingpin intention of the committee is to induct children into education institutions, execute raids and educate the people. This would be achieved through proper enrolment of children in schools, identify dropouts and admit them in schools, conduct raids in different establishments and houses to prevent child labour and explain the people child rights and welfare, mentioned The Hindu.

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The committee comprises of government officials from departments like National Child Labour Project (NCLP), Women Development and Child Welfare, Juvenile Welfare, South Central Railway and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation.

Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan, Rajiv Vidya Mission, Education and other departments and representatives of Childline have also joined hands with these departments. Apart from these, Nava Jeevan Bala Bhavan, SKCV, CRAF, Care and Share, BIRDS, Arunodaya, Prajwala and Annamma Society are also the members.

“As part of the Anti-Child Labour Day, awareness programs on child rights, seminars, workshops, special drives and rallies will be conducted during the week-day programme,” NCLP Project Director Anjaneya Reddy said.

– prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram, Twitter: @himanshi1104


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Exclusive: How is One Woman Army changing the notions of Education in society?

Although our Indian education is a well renowned and the best-considered system of education in the world, however, we lack in the proper deliverance of education

Sumeet Mittal awarded with 'Make in India' award for its contribution in social development

March 08, 2017: ‘When you educate a woman, you educate the society’ – a famous saying from the earlier times proved to be satiated when a woman from Rajasthan determined to change the notion of education in the society. Sumeeti Mittal is the founder of Pratham Sikhsha, a charitable organization in Jaipur, Rajasthan laid the initiative to promote the core of primary education for the impoverished section of society.

The beginning of Pratham Sikhsha

Sumeeti with her students in school

While touring across the world, Sumeeti realized that there is a fine line between Indians and western countries which alienate us from them. She learned that the point of difference was lying in the primary education of underprivileged section of society. It was then she discerned that there was a dire need for primary education in India.

“Ever since my childhood, I wanted to help people in a way that cultivates a sense of Independence in them. I have been very passionate about my own education as well, hence I wanted to impart education in every way possible – because I believe that with education you can achieve anything in life.”, told Sumeeti Mittal to Newsgram.

‘Pratham Sikhsha’ is a Hindi word meaning – ‘First Education’. It was started in 2005, with the aim of imparting education to deprived children who has no access to basic education and empower women to improve their lives and earn a respectable job for themselves.

Redefinition of Education by Sumeeti Mittal

Although our Indian education is a well renowned and the best-considered system of education in the world, however, we lack in the proper deliverance of education. With the lack of qualitative education and callousness of teachers as well as parents, one realizes too late that the child can not indeed read or write well.

“We are blindly following western education, little do we realize that there is more to be done to meet the quality standards of western countries. There is no concern over the child’s performance in class, and with the rules like – No failing of students has impaired the education scene furthermore. Ultimately it is the teacher who is responsible for the student’s failure. Teachers will never be found at the backfoot if such system persists.” told Sumeeti on the education system of India.

She also emphasized the importance of ‘Moral Education in schools. Learning should be adorned with discipline and values to inculcate a moral behavior in a child.

The Founder of Pratham Sikhsha also stressed the role of a woman in the society. She quoted by saying “Females have to be become powerful and realize their inner strength.”. Women of the backward class no longer have to stick to conventional methods of earning, they can easily find a reputable job with help of Pratham Sikhsha. Her future objective is to align education with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission Skilled India, and for the same purpose, she has introduced some courses in her organization.

Here’s how Pratham Sikhsha is distinctive from others in the field of education:

  • Practical learning in Plumbing, electrician, stitching and other related courses
  • Employing women from slum as teachers to set a live example and propel other women to earn a respectable earning
  • Every Saturday of the month sessions are conducted for child’s female relative to counsel and educate the basic health care routine
  • The student is advised to repeat the class if he or she fails to grasp the core of learning in the respective grade
  • Moral education introduced in schools with a better approach, students enact plays on these moral values
  • Imparts nursing education to women who have completed their 12th and thus contracting them in government hospitals

Initiatives like Pratham Sikhsha are a boon for the society. Sumeeti faced resistance from her surroundings when she was in the thinking phase of the initiative. Despite the unpropitious situation, she was able to lay the foundation of her charity trust. Sumeeti believes that one can achieve anything with the extract of faith within oneself.

Visit here to know more about Pratham Shiksha

Reported by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Madhya Pradesh witnesses an alarming drop in Reading skills in Students, ranks among India’s lowest

Girl child
Girl child studying in an open school in Wikimedia

Delhi, Jan 10, 2017:  Reading and some math skills of Madhya Pradesh students are among India’s lowest, the transition rate to higher classes is lower than the national average. A majority of classrooms are shared by students of different grades, and government elementary schools are 17.6 per cent short of school teachers, according an analysis of various government data.

The literacy rate in Madhya Pradesh at 72.6 million, the fifth-largest state by population — was ninth lowest, at 70.6 per cent, in 2011. This was an increase of 6.86 percentage points from 2001 –the second-lowest increase among BIMARU states.

Learning levels in rural Madhya Pradesh are among India’s worst. Only 34 per cent of all children surveyed in Grade 5 in rural areas could read a Grade 2 level text, the second-lowest across all states — behind only Assam — according to the 2014 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), and the proportion of Grade 5 children who could at least subtract was 31 per cent, the lowest in India.

The proportion of children in Grade 3 who could read at least words declined from 80 per cent in 2010 to 32 per cent in 2014 in government schools; the corresponding decline in private schools was from 88 per cent in 2010 to 74 per cent in 2014.

The transition rate from primary (Grade 5) to upper primary (Grade 6) in Madhya Pradesh was 88.67 per cent in 2014-15, according to the Unified District Information System (U-DISE) Flash Statistics 2015-16 — below the all-India average of 90 per cent.

At the upper primary level, learning levels are worse. Only 18 per cent of Grade 7 students could read English sentences — the lowest in the country. Of those who could read, only 43 per cent could tell the meaning of the sentence — again the lowest, indicating that even students who transition to upper primary perform poorly in comparison with students in other states.

Of six million teaching positions in government schools nationwide, about 900,000 elementary school teaching positions and 100,000 in secondary school — put together, a million — are vacant, according to an answer given in the Lok Sabha. About 17.6 per cent of all elementary teaching positions — nearly 64,000 — in government schools in Madhya Pradesh are vacant.

As many as 78 per cent schools surveyed had children from Grade 2 sharing a classroom with other grades, an increase from 67 per cent in 2010, according to the ASER 2014 report.

Similarly, the proportion of schools where Grade 4 children shared a classroom with other grades increased from 57 per cent in 2010 to 69 per cent in 2014.

As several grades study in one classroom with the same teacher or teachers, more training, and different kinds of pedagogy, would have to be used to reach every child, according to an ASER 2011 report. The Right to Education (RTE) Act does not specify any regulations for multi-grade classrooms, and it is possible that schools provide few teachers with special training to equip them to teach in multi-grade classrooms.

Overall, few teachers receive in-service training. No more than 7.13 per cent of the state’s teachers (including contractual teachers) got in-service training in 2013-14; the Indian average was 18.34 per cent, according to U-DISE data.

Public expenditure on elementary education (Grade 1 to Grade 8) per student increased by 50 per cent between 2011-12 and 2014-15, but this increase was mainly due to the decline in enrolment than any increase in real expenditure, the Economic and Political Weekly reported in September 2016.

The enrolment at primary level (Grade 1 to 5) declined from 10.7 million in 2010-11 to 8.67 million in 2014-15, a decline of 18.97 per cent, according to U-DISE data, mostly because fewer children enrol in primary school at the wrong age — raising the per student spending in the state.

The primary school Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) — which is the proportion of students enrolled to the proportion of primary-school age children — was 136.7 in 2010-11, which fell to 101.11 at primary level in 2014-15, according to U-DISE data. The GER can be greater than 100 if children not of primary-school age enrol in primary school.

For upper primary school, gross enrolment has fallen below 100 per cent; that is, not all students of upper-primary school-age enrol in school. The gross upper primary school enrolment dropped from 102.1 in 2010-11 to 96.6 in 2014-2015, according to U-DISE data.

As many as 70 per cent of RTE quota seats were not filled in Madhya Pradesh. The RTE Act (2009) requires that one quarter of all seats be reserved for free schooling to the poorest students in all private, unaided primary schools.

Only 170,000 students were admitted on the RTE quota in 2016, although more than 420,000 seats were reserved. The shortfall is attributed, in part, to an online lottery system that parents found hard to use.

Delhi and Maharashtra also adopted a similar centralised online allotment of seats in private schools, according to one report. The report states that “although going online with the admission process appears to be a good move to improve transparency and efficiency… not all parents would be able to apply online for admissions, especially the ones coming from the lower strata of the society”.

Madhya Pradesh also revoked the “no-detention policy” in October 2016, allowing all government and private schools to hold back students in the same grade after Grade 5, due to the state’s declining quality of education, according to Deepak Joshi, Minister of State for School Education. Earlier, students would not repeat grades until Grade 8, except in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education.  (IANS)