Suraj (12) (name changed) three years ago was a student of class III. He came in touch with a friend named Mota who got him indulged in substance abuse. Initially Mota gave the substance free of cost and later Suraj got addicted to it. To buy these substances, Suraj needed money for which he went to Delhi where he sold newspapers, worked at road side eateries etc. Suraj made many friends who were into substance abuse.
He narrated this when the volunteers of PCCRCU, a Jaipur based NGO went to the slum area in Jagatpura in Jaipur to identify child labourers under ‘Nanhe Haath, Kalam ke Saath’ campaign.
Similarly, 14-year old Nihal (name changed) told that his parents died three-four years ago and Mota got him addicted to these kinds of substances. Now he works at a scrap dealer to buy substances. These children use whitener which they buy from stationery shops, taking acid from the used car batteries and mixing some chemicals in it, they inhale and get intoxicated. This mixture in their language is called ‘tube’. Many children in this slum are addicted to whitener and tube and spoiling their life. The substance abuse can lead to many serious health problems and these children are unaware about it.
Campaign convener Vipin Tiwari said that Labour Department, UNICEF and PCCRCS jointly launched this six-month campaign to identify child labourers was on June 12, on the World Day Against Child Labour. Labour department secretary Neeraj K Pawan, UNICEF child protection officer Sanjay Nirala and other officers flagged off the vehicle to create awareness about child labour, child trafficking etc.
He said that during this campaign visiting cities, towns and villages in Jaipur district, child labourers are being identified along with helping people in getting the state government’s welfare schemes . Children who are deprived of education will be linked to the schools.
Tiwari said that a proposal for a special residential school for child labourers will be made and sent to the state government through the Labour department.
Sharing details about many such children, the campaign convener said that Sawant Singh (42) was raising his family of wife and two children by fixing marble in houses under construction. He took a loan and made his own house at Meenwala in Jaipur district and even started repaying the loan. But fate has something else in store and he died of corona. The PCCRCS volunteers explained to Singh’s wife about the Mukhyamantri Corona Sahayata Yojana and started the process to get her the benefit of the scheme, which is given as a relief package to the widows.
Similarly, Chanda Devi, resident of Teela No. 5, Jawahar Nagar in Jaipur said that her husband died of corona. She has three girls aged 12, 10 and 5 years. PCCRCS started the process to get her the benefits of Mukhyamantri Corona Sahayata Yojana, widow pension scheme and palanhaar yojana (for children).