The state education department has identified around one lakh school dropouts in Andhra Pradesh — with the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan survey identifying 8,459 dropouts in Visakhapatnam district alone.
While efforts are on to make Vizag a smart city, the social evil of child labour is quite prevalent and children are mainly engaged as construction workers, in the brick industry, in city eateries and also as domestic workers. Any child who has dropped out of school is considered a child labour, as per the United Nations Organisation (UNO). On the eve of World Day Against Child Labour that falls on June 12 (Tuesday), one can safely say that much more needs to be done to stop this social evil.
Engaging children in economic activity, part-time or full-time basis, is child labour. It deprives children of their childhood and is harmful to their physical and mental development. “Poverty, migration for livelihood, alcoholic families, dropouts from schools are the main factors that endorse a social evil like child labour,” says advocate Abdul Raqueeb, a child rights activist.
As per labour department records, if one goes by the figures in north coastal Andhra Pradesh, 4,897 boys and 3,770 girls have been found engaged in some or other form of work in Visakhapatnam district. Vizianagaram has around 1,980 boys and 1,561 girls, while Srikakulam has around 3,932 boys and 2,520 girls.
Source: Times of India