Tata Steel Foundation and District Administration come together to raise voice against child labour

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Kalinganagar: Tata Steel Foundation’s RISHTA Project, in association with the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU),Jajpur, District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA), Jajpur and District Labour Office, Jajpur observed ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ at Kapileswar Higher Secondary School, Duburi on Wednesday. The event presided over by Jyotirmayee Das, Secretary, District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA), saw over 100 participants, including government officials, parents from rural communities, and Sathiyas, peer educators from the community.

The programme kicked off with a warm welcome and introduction by NiranjanKar, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO),Jajpur. Chief Guest Jyotirmayee Das informed the participants about ‘Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986’, condemning child exploitation and advocating for a nurturing environment for every child. In her address, she also highlighted the developmental work being done by Tata Steel Foundation to reduce and negate child labour from remote, rural, and tribal habitations of the district.

Today, the ‘Education Signature Programme’ spearheaded by the Foundation is active in 19 blocks across 4 districts in Odisha. It is worth mentioning here that Danagadi and Sukinda blocks of the Jajpur district have been able to achieve the Child Labour Free Zone (CLFZ) status which means that all children between the ages of 6-14 years from these two blocks, have either been enrolled in school or registered in the ‘Bridge Course Centres’ and have been successfully dissuaded from participating in child labour activities. Since the programme’s inception, 5,889 children have been successfully brought back to school which is a strong evidence of the concerted efforts of the programme team and the local administration in combatting the issue of child labour.

The event also had a discussion around the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) Scheme “Child Friendly Legal Services to Children and their Protection, 2015,” which aims at providing accessible legal services to children. Through the discussion, the emphasis was laid on the collective responsibility of the communities and government agencies in ensuring children’s rights and protecting them from labour exploitation.

The event reaffirms the commitment of TSF towards eliminating child labour and safeguarding children’s rights in Odisha. The celebration underscored the crucial role of legal frameworks and community involvement in fostering a society where children can develop to the best of their potentials and highlighted the importance of creating an environment where children can prosper.

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