Child Labour & Inclusive Education in Backward Districts of India
India has five million working children which is more than two percent of the total child population in the age group of 5-14 years. Despite existence of legal prohibitions, several socio-economic situations ranging from dearth of poverty, over–fertility, non-responsive education system to poor access in financial services adversely affect a section of children and keep them in work field. This work burden not only prevents the children from getting the basic education, it is also highly detrimental to their health and ultimately leads to intellectual and physical stunting of their growth. At this backdrop, this paper measures the magnitude of child rights to education enjoyed by the child labour across the states of West Bengal. The paper identifies various reasons behind non-inclusiveness of a great portion of child labour in main-stream of education through empirical analysis in two backward districts of West Bengal. An analysis of NCLP activities based on evaluation surveys helps to trace the gap of work and lack of convergence mechanism with activities of Sarba Shiksha Mission. We recommend few measures to revamp the whole process, so that relationship between child labour and inclusive education activities can be revamped. NCLP and Sarba Shiksha Mission should work hand in hand to fulfill this objective. Complete implementation of Right to Education can help to solve many of these issues involved with child labour, as the act itself has an inclusive approach.
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