5 Million Child Labourers in India

Nearly 5 million children are still engaged as laborers across the country, Indian Labor Minister Mallikarjun Kharge informed the government yesterday.  The Labor Minister, made it clear that the number of child laborers in the country was declining, however.

“As per Census 2001, there were 5 million working children in the country in the age group of 5-14,” he said during the Question Hour of India's Parliament.  

He said the survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation in 2004-05 estimated the number of working children at 9 million.

“As per NSSO survey 2009-10, the working children are estimated at 49.84 lakh (lakh equals 100,000) which shows a declining trend,” Kharge said.  He informed the members that government provides funds to NGOs for projects like eradication of child labor and running of schools in the 75:25 ratio.

The minister said UPA government has implemented the Right to Education Act under which $400 million has been earmarked for education of children. This would help prevent child labor and put the children in schools, he believes.

However, some members protested when Kharge failed to give a deadline by which child labor in the country would come to an end.

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