Kolkata, Dec 30: More than 60 percent of children working in family-run enterprises are likely to drop out of school, a survey conducted in a West Bengal district revealed on Monday.
The report highlighted the need for a “closer look” at the proposed amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 “legalising use of child labour in such family businesses”.
The study titled “Impact on Overall Development of Children Working in Family Enterprises” was conducted by Actioid Association and People’s Participation in two municipalities of North 24 Pargas district involving 90 children in the age group of 6 to 14. Its major findings indicated that the physical and mental health of children working in family enterprises was “negatively impacted” along with school attendance, recreation and overall developmental rights, said Dipankar Mitra from People’s Participation.
Further, the data provides “substantial evidence that in families where children discharge double roles of being students as well as labourers, the propensity among siblings to discontinue education before the age of 18 years is extremely high (63.3 percent)”.
These children were mostly engaged in kite-making, dairy and allied enterprises (making cow dung cakes), candy-making, poultry, hotel/dhaba, ragpicking and waste segregation, according to the survey.
The report flagged many other issues. “It was found that in many instances, parents or legal guardians do not own the enterprise but it is owned by a relative living in the same tive village. So the definition of a family enterprise is not clear,” said Mitra. (ians)