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Yogi Adityanath government launches campaign to check child labour




The Yogi Adityanath government is launching a major campaign for children working as labourers in hazardous industries.

The campaign that is being launched from Monday and will continue till August 30, will act effectively against their employers.

Suresh Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary, labour, said, “From August 16 to 30, the state government proposes to launch another campaign to identify child labourers and act against establishments employing them.”

About 10,000 children and teenagers, including about 2,000 engaged in hazardous work, have been identified in the past five years.

Action has been taken in the form of prosecution being launched against over 1,000 employers, but there appears no check on children being engaged as labourers in Uttar Pradesh.

There are apprehensions that many of those, who may be identified in the drive, may begin working as child labour again in the next few weeks.

“Efforts are made to send such children to school or action is taken for their rehabilitation. Yet, many of such children return to the same or other work establishment within a few weeks,” said another official of the state’s labour department.

The labour department has implemented ‘Naya Savera Yojana’ in collaboration with the UNICEF in select villages of 20 districts to make these areas child labour free.

Apart from Lucknow, the districts covered under Naya Savera Yojana are Kanpur, Agra, Bareilly, Badaun, Moradabad, Ghaziabad, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Ballia, Prayagraj and Gorakhpur.

The government spokesman said, “Under this scheme, 39,856 children in 6 to 14 years age group have been identified and 26,933 of them have been rehabilitated in the past four years. In the 15-to-18-year age group too, 16,383 have been identified and 5,290 have been rehabilitated. About 6,679 families have been registered with Uttar Pradesh Bhawan Evam Sannirman Karmkar Kalyan Board (welfare agency for construction and other workers).”

Sangeet Sharma, former member, Child Welfare Committee, said, “A large number of children and teenagers are working as child labourers though the exact number is not available. In many cases, the children identified and rescued, return to work as child labour in the absence of any major scheme for rehabilitation.”

“There may be some cases of child trafficking but hardly any criminal case is registered. Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) and Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPUs) have been set up in every district, but authorities are not able to take action as parents of such children often deny involvement of any gang. Under such circumstances, efforts made to identify those working behind such children, prove futile,” he added.

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Sonia Gandhi accuses Centre of being ‘insensitive’ towards farmers




Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo: IANS)

 Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Centre of being “insensitive” towards the farmers, adding that the farm laws were repealed in an “undemocratic” manner.

While addressing the Congress Parliamentary party meeting, she paid homage to the 700 farmers who lost their lives during their protest against the farm laws. Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting.

Extending unconditional support to farmers demand of legally guaranteed MSP, she called upon the party members to honour the farmers who died during the protest.

Notably, the Congress has been demanding appropriate compensation to the families of victim farmers. Party MP Rahul Gandhi recently placed a list of the dead farmer protesters in the Lok Sabha.

The Opposition has been demanding a detailed discussion on the border situation in Parliament but the Centre is avoiding it, Sonia Gandhi alleged.

Terming suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs “unprecedented and unacceptable”, the veteran leader said the party stands in solidarity with them.

Demanding revocation of the suspension order, Sonia said the Centre will have to reinstate them.

The Modi government is also being accused of selling the country’s assets to recover its economic losses.

On Tuesday, while interacting with the media, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that MPs were suspended for the entire Winter session for an act which took place in the Monsoon session. If the Centre does not revoke the suspension, the Opposition will resort to a hunger strike.

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‘Red is colour of change’, Akhilesh hits back at Modi





Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Lal Topi” comment, saying that the colour of the cap has reached Delhi and hence the panic has engulfed the BJP’s rank and file.

Akhilesh Yadav spoke to IANS on several issues, including the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year.

Q. Prime Minister Modi has said that you people yearn for only power. What is your reaction?

A. Red colour symbolises revolution, a change. This is also the colour of emotions. BJP does not understand sentiments. Red colour is the most vibrant colour and warns the party in power to be careful. The people of Uttar Pradesh want a change. The brightness of Lal Topi has reached Delhi, so the language of the BJP has also changed as they are panicky. Changes are bound to happen in the state.

Q. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been taking a dig at the red colour cap and now the Prime Minister has also targeted you.

A. This must have happened for the first time that the Prime Minister has spoken the language of the Chief Minister by rote.

Q. You are continuously claiming to win the upcoming elections, but the BJP is saying that they have defeated you three times in a row — in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

A. Circumstances have changed now. This time, BJP is nervous — farmers, youth, traders and people of the state will show them their real power.

Q. The PM is constantly laying foundation stones and inaugurating events in Uttar Pradesh, what do you have to say?

A. The advertisements they are putting out are false, their development claims are false. They stole a picture of Bengal, of America and of China. Their development claims are hollow.

Q. How many seats are you going to win?

A. The BJP will be wiped out from the state.

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SKM to hold crucial meet today on ending year-long protest




Various farmer organisations under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) are likely to make a major announcement on their year-long agitation after a meeting on Wednesday. The SKM is also likely to meet union ministers.

Sources say that as soon as a clarification is received on the proposal related to several critical demands sent by the union government, the farmers will end the protest.

A five-member committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) held an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning before the crucial meeting at 2 p.m.

It is expected that before making a major announcement, the SKM will hold consultations with other farmer groups on ending the year-long agitation.

Farmers have demanded withdrawal of the cases registered against them. They said, they will announce end of the protest after government fulfils all their demands.

The Union government has asked farm leaders to get back on the proposal which said, the farmers end the agitation first and then withdrawal of cases will be considered.

After repealing all three farm laws, the SKM has put forth several other demands before the union government, of which most of them have been accepted.

The government wants farmers to end the protest before the assembly elections in Punjab next year. This is the reason the Union Home Ministry sent a draft proposal to the SKM on Tuesday.

Farmers have been demanding apart from repeal of farm laws, compensation to all who died during the agitation, legal guarantee on minimum support price and withdrawal of cases against all farmers.

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