Award, Appreciation, Recognition, and Protection are the 4 pillars to eradicate child labor in our country. A lot of people know cases in and around their localities. They keep mum because of low trust in law and order mechanism. Also, there is a fear factor when someone reports. The person usually having a minor at home as domestic help has either a stake in political or law agencies. Mostly, it goes negative against the person who reports about child labor rather than the culprit getting punishment. The whole machinery is corrupt. That means projects like Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor are usually good to showcase on papers (and online) but otherwise have no deep penetration in the societal spectrum. There are many flaws in the whole mechanism.
Today is no better than yesterday on many fronts. Launching portals like Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor is not enough to make India really Child Labor free. Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) are also there for enforcement agencies. But how effective these are? And what are the measurements for those agencies to ensure they are working in the right direction? Transparency, as I repeat time and again, is very essential for all such projects for certain reasons. Firstly, it ensures government’s sincerity. Secondly, It spreads a message of empowerment and inclusiveness. In fact, it encourages general public to come forward and participate full heartedly. Thirdly, it is out money that goes in such projects thus is our right to know.
Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor calls for further actions
The Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor (PENCIL) is an online platform involving Union and State Ministries, District level, Civil Societies, and the general public. It aims to achieve the goal of child labor free country. This is a tripartite model of trainers, practitioners, and monitoring agencies. If the portal is also for general public to participate what is the registration process? Because on the portal I see only login option but no registration option. Secondly, the data on the homepage looks like an eyewash. Because there is no transparency or factual support of this data. A logical presentation would be to give a hyperlink to each of the three figures – Children identified, Children Enrolled, and Children Mainstreamed. Why don’t let everyone see the facts and figures?