According to a recently released CRY Report on child labour, more than 8 lakh children between the age group of 5 and 6 years in India are engaged in child labour.
Child Rights and You (CRY) is an NGO working towards the upliftment of underprivileged children. The organization got established in 1979 by Rippan Kapur.
As per the report, over 5 lakh children in India do not attend school. A majority of them are involved in family based employments.
Uttar Pradesh ranks first in the number of child labourers (2,50,672 children) in the country followed by Bihar (1,28,087 children) and Maharashtra (82,847 children).
The report has identified that the high level of poverty and unemployment along with a lack of adequate social security net are the important factors forcing children to work, compromising with their learning. These children are often forced to migrate with their parents and assist in family occupations such as working in brick kilns.
The report cites that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) suffers many limitations and is now covering only 50% of the child labourers.
In the decade 2001-11, the working children in the age group of 10-14 years saw a reduction of 30% but the child labourers in the age group of 5-9 years have seen an increase of 37% from 2001.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the states/UTs. The Scheme was launched on 2nd October 1975. The scheme has the following objectives: to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years; to reduce mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout; to promote policy coordination and implementation for promoting child development; to lay an adequate foundation for the psychological, physical and social well-being of the children etc.
Under the scheme, the services such as Supplementary nutrition; Pre-school non-formal education; nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-ups; and Referral services through Anganwadi Centres for children below 6 years of age as well as to pregnant women& lactating mothers are offered.