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    Hon’ble Shri Justice S. C. Dharamadhikari flags off campaign against child trafficking

    Published on November 7, 2019

    By Sachin Murdeshwar

    Mumbai: Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) in collaboration with the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority (MLSA), Maharashtra Labour Department, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) and Capgemini today launched a month-long campaign against trafficking of children. The campaign was inaugurated by Hon’ble Shri Justice S. C. Dharamadhikari in the presence of Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority Member Secretary Mr Shrikant D. Kulkarni.

    Aimed at creating child-friendly Mumbai, the month-long Campaign will include spreading mass awareness by ‘Mukti Caravan’ led by the survivors of child labour and trafficking and dedicated efforts by the Maharashtra government to identify, raid and rescue child labourers from around the city.

     

    Mukti Caravan is a mobile campaign which aims to spread awareness and sensitize people on child exploitation and trafficking through street plays, folk songs, infused with social messages, pamphlets, wall writing, pledge signing and awareness camps. It will travel across 59 locations in Mumbai, including Bhindi Bazar, Masjid, Haji Ali, Madanpura, BDD Chawl, Dharavi and Kurar Village before culminating at Sabzi Mandi (Kandivali) on December 4.

     

    Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Mr Pravin Ghuge, Chairman, Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Dr. Mahendra Kalyankar, (IAS) Commissioner of Labour, Labour Department, Mr Shrikant D. Kulkarni, Member Secretary, MSLSA, Mumbai, and Mr Samir Mathur, CEO Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

     

    Shrikant D. Kulkarni, Member Secretary, MSLSA, Mumbai made appeal to all the people, social workers, social organizations to join the fight against child trafficking, forced labour, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation of children in our society.

     

    Flagging off the campaign from Gateway of India, Hon’ble Shri Justice S.C. Dharamadhikari said, “We, as a society, have failed our children, and we should now step up our efforts to save them from various forms of exploitation. If we are able to extend a helping hand to distressed children, the nation will usher on the path of development. We must take cognizance of the fact that our children have rights. The movement launched here will serve as a motivation for them to not deprive the children of their rights, willingly or unwillingly.”

     

    “Legal luminaries should be aware of traditions of justice in our country. Any person sitting on a top judicial position should possess the innocence and fearlessness of a child. Police personnel should have the hearts and minds of a father and mother while dealing with children,” he further added.

     

    Member Secretary, MSLSA Mr Shrikant D. Kulkarni said, “It is acknowledged by all that child labour and trafficking is an unmitigated evil and must be eradicated at the earliest. There is no justification for its existence. Children should be allowed to gain their maturity under a normal process of natural mental, intellectual and physical growth. This is essential for the growth of the nation. BBA is a child rights movement of Kailash Satyarthi ji working since 1980, and Mukti Caravan has been a successful instrument for generating awareness and reporting of cases.”

     

    Chief Executive Officer of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Samir Mathur said, “I would like to compliment the Maharashtra Government for taking the lead and collaborating with Bachpan Bachao Andolan in the fight against child trafficking. We are happy and grateful that the state government has taken proactive measures to deal with the vexatious issue and ensure that children are free, safe and healthy. Mumbai is a city with a large heart and every child’s safety and freedom is an integral part of its culture”.

     

    Through the campaign, a few former child labour victims such as Arbind, Akhilesh, Shariful, Chotu, Anil and Nirmal, will strive to educate the people about trafficking for forced labour in industrial units, hotels, and railway and bus stations. Mukti Caravan will be the key driver for mass mobilisation against trafficking in various Mumbai industrial units.

     

    Various NGOs that included City Core Group, Pratham, Child Vision Foundation, Sanghmitra, Child Line, Joining Dots, CRY, and various other NGOs from 14 districts of Maharashtra have joined hands with BBA for the month-long campaign.

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