Save the Children and Ikea tie up to prevent child labour in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Focusing on preventing child labour in the cotton area of Northern region, NGO-Save the Children, its partners Breakthrough and Pratham, and the IKEA Foundationunveiled a Rs 50 crore programme to protect 790,000 children living in cotton communities in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The programme to be implemented in four years(2013-2017), aims to keep children out of cotton fields, and in classrooms where they can learn, play, grow and develop and be children.

The program will cover nine cotton districts of Punjab and Haryana namely Bathinda, Muksar Sahib, Mansa and Fazilka in Punjab, Hissar, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jhajjar and Rohtak in Haryana and Banswara in Rajasthan. According to estimates there are over 10 lakh child labour, working in cotton fields in these states mainly deployed in cotton picking.

Also, an independent research study in 2008 revealed that prosperous Punjab has a large number of children working in the agriculture sector with an estimated 25% of them in cotton picking. Rajasthan and Haryana are not far behind, with 23% and 16% of cotton picking labour being children. Rough estimates say that In Punjab there are over about 5 lakh child labour employed in cotton area, followed by Haryana (3.58 lakh).

The NGO-Save the Children, Pratham and Breakthrough will work with panchayat leaders, farmers, teachers, families and Indian state officials in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to provide children with access to quality education, improve teacher training, develop local child protection committees and school management committees and tackle issues like gender based discrimination.

Source: Business Standard (link opens in a new window)

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