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Good health on cards for child workers


- City NGO to provide free medical treatment through hospital tie-up 



Jamshedpur, March 9: A city NGO has now decided to launch a card to good health by providing identity tags to children living in the margins and providing them with free access to medical aid.


The NGO, Child Labour Welfare Society, will first identify and then distribute identity cards among slum children and child labourers.


“Children who work in factories and units are more prone to health hazards than adults. Most city units and factories are unhygienic and provide no basic facilities to the children. This will be our initiative to provide what is their basic right,” said Bikrant Tiwary, the founder of the society.


To provide the service the society has tied up with Nisha Maternity and Nursing Home in Mango.


Card holders can go to the nursing home in question to avail free treatment and may also receive surgical aid in case of emergencies.


The identity card will contain all health-related details of the child, which would help the nursing home identify their condition and needs. The card would be available to children up to 16 years, two years more than what the child labour norms entail. The society will also approach the district administration for further help.


“The identity card will also identify a child as a labourer and later if he or she chooses they may use it as proof of their exploitation,” explained Tiwary. In spite of government rules against child labour, there are hundreds children in the city who still work in filthy conditions to help their families.


“We need to be practical. Though we can motivate children to leave work, it is a difficult process. What we also need to ensure is that those who are already working can avail facilities that they are entitled to — basic health being the right of every child. Also it requires large amount of funds to sponsor a child. Thus the card is like assisting them without taking in all responsibilities,” said Tiwary.


Presently, there are about 65 slum children associated with the society, who receive free education. The society is trying to find as many child labourers as possible for both their health and education projects.


The society has also made a short documentary as a part of the government’s Bachpan Bachao campaign that they use to make more and more mrginalised families aware of the child labour problem.


“We would also rope in civilians in our work. We will reward those who will inform us about units and factories that employ child labourers. At least one person should be able to help us. And even if we can change one life with counselling we will consider it to be a success,” said Tiwary.


URL : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090310/jsp/jharkhand/story_10649887.jsp