SHORT DURATION COURSE FOR CHILD LABOUR - Machhindra Gojame
An experience of peopleís Institute of Rural Development for eradication of child labour. Peopleís Institute of Rural Development has implemented two major programmes till to date. One is Education Programme for Child Labour and second is campaign against child Labour. But, we were of scope and intensity of problem and also inadequate efforts of Government and voluntary organisation to mitigate problem. In mean time we could visit M.V. Foundation Hyadarabad(A.P.) and could see their programme of "Bridge Course Camp" which highly motivated us. To implement this concept T.D.H. agreed to make necessary financial arrangements. In month of April it was decided that five voluntary organisations will organise 60 days Bridge Course Camps for Child Labour from Latur and Osmanabad districts simultaneously. According all organisation initiated priliminary activities for implementation of course.
Peopleís Institute of Rural Development conducted a survey in 10 villages for enrolment of children in age group 7-15 for camp. It was proposed that minimum 100 children should attend camp. After assessing that 10% will be dropped out 126 children were enrolled for camp. After enrolment major problem was of accommodation and availability of water. Mr.Shrama, District Collector, Latur has allowed us to use premises of Mahila Kendra. A Building in Narangwadi was also available for this purpose. But problem was at one place water was not available and at second place conductive atmosphere for education was not available. Therefore; a new alternative was to find out. We could get a suitable place, that is anand margiís Ashrams of Tawasigarh and Salegaon. But condition was girls will not be allowed to stay with boys. Because two separate Ashrams are there for male and female. Hence, we were compelled to conduct a separate camp for girl children. In this process, instead of starting a course on 1st May, we could start it on 7th May.
Before commencement of camp arrangements of enrolment of children, accommodation, water, foodgrains. Teacher, assistant and procurement of other required material were made. Still it took 5 to 6 days for stabilisation and regularisation of camp. In beginning children were in less number. Some of them were went back due to homesickness. But slowly and gradually no. of children was on rise. Finally there were total 126 children in camp. Out of which 44 were girl children. Analysis of attendance of children revealed that out of 126 children enrolled 47 attended camp for 5 to 15 days only. There were 44 girl children, they were more interested in attending camp. Out of 82 male children 47 attended camp for 5 to 15 days only. Girls were on fore frout for completing full term of course. Out of 44 girls 23 were present for 60 days while out of 82 boys only 12 were present for full term.
Children attended Bridge Camps TypesAttended CampEnrolled into school Boys8233 Girls4423 Total12656
Participant children were from landless labour and small farmers families. Analysis also reveled that out of total population 27% were from upper caste. This was a maximum number. While only 8% were from nomadic tribes. OBCs were 19%, SCs were 22%, ST 13% and 11% were from muslim community. But on basis of this statistics drawing a conclusion of caste wise incidence of child labour will be wrong. This statistics only given coastwise, Percentage of child Labour participate in camp. Out of total participants only few of them were literate otherwise majority of them were illiterate. Some of them disclosed that they had attended schools and wee studiad from 1st to VIIth stds. But majority of them were not able to identify even alphabets.
The objective of camp was to bring children in main streme of education. For this they wanted to be prepared to appear for IVth or VIIth Std. Examination according to their status and capacities. Therefore, they were classified as literate, samiliterate and illiterate catagories, and according to their category curriculum was designed. First 15 days were utilised for improving their capacities and for their stabilisation in campus. Hence gamesm sports and entertainment activities were introduced during those days. After this first phese, preparation for IVth Stds. Was started. Each subject was given 35 to 40 hours for preparation and accordingly syllabus was administered. Each camp was having three teachers. Teachers role was to teach children as well as to function as their parents. It was resulted in developing emotional relationship between children and teachers which was visible on valedictory function.