Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, Feb. 27. — Mr Tom Olsen, the Unicef representative in India, said that a staggering number of children, particularly girls, are not going to school, but are engaged in work in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session of a national-level media consultation on child labour here today, Mr Olsen felt that growth and economic prosperity would be meaningless unless the critical issues of child labour were attended to. India has the largest number of children which is one-fourth of its total population, he observed.
The change has to come from within the society, he stated before adding that political leaders and parliamentarians have to forcefully ensure that the child has a right to grow in a conducive environment.
Inaugurating the workshop organised by the Campaign against Child Labour (CACL), journalist Kuldip Nayar suggested that a ministry for children could be established and the delegates from such workshops need to meet media personalities to take up issues relating to the child labour.
He said that media can play a major roll in drawing national attention to the plight of girls. The national convener of CACL, Ranjan Mohant, gave a brief presentation on child labour, the girl child and laws governing child labour. Several delegates from across the country, including journalists, will take part in the two-day workshop.