While the Supreme Court gave orders for a crackdown against child labour decades ago in 1986, the state woke up to the matter rather late, taking it up only a few years ago. The orders issued by the state energy department are the result of a comprehensive plan drawn up to eradicate child labour back in August 2011.
The department has asked its power utilities to sign an undertaking with all industrial units while approving their requests for power supply, making them promise that they will not engage child labourers. The diktat says that if they go back ontheir word, their power supply would be cut immediately.
The state has also asked its officials to spread the word against child labour on its power bills, to generate public opinion. Citing it as an effective medium to propagate the cause, the state has made it binding on its officials to submit monthly reports documenting its attempts to curb child labour -- details of undertakings taken from the industrial houses, periodic inspection, establishments found with child labourers and action taken against them -- have to be submitted on the fifth day of every month.
Banned but still around
1986: Supreme Court orders eradication of child labour
2007: State’s action plan against child labour approved
2009: Central government passes legislation for free and compulsory education of children
July 2011: Workshop by the state government on child labour
August 2011: Approval given to state’s plan on eradication ofchild labour drawn up by empowered committee headed by Chief Secretary
October 2013: Orders issued by the state energy department to discontinue power supply of all types to industrial units if they flout the ban on child labour