On the basis of available data and the data uploaded as on date on Pencil Portal since its launch in 2017, the total number of children mainstreamed through Special Training Centers set up under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme, is 13.63 lakh, since the inception of the scheme.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment is implementing the NCLP Scheme since 1988 for rehabilitation of child labourers. Under the NCLP, the children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued/ withdrawn from work and enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system. The children in the age group of 5-8 years are directly linked to the formal education system through a close coordination with the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 1.9.2016, provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below 14 years of age in any occupation and process and prohibition of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes. The Amendment Act also provides for stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and has made the offence as cognizable.
However, in exception to the above provision of the Act, certain exceptions have been made where a child:
(i) helps his family or family enterprises, which is other than any hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule of the amended Act, after his school hours or during vacations;
(ii) where the child works as an artist in an audiovisual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities except the circus, subject to certain conditions and safety measures and also that no such work under the clause affects the school education of the child.
As per provisions contained in the Act, whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both. For parents/ guardians, there is no punishment for the first offence and in case of second and subsequent offence the penalty would be a fine which may extend to Rs 10,000/-.
Section 14 B of the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 provided for constitution of a fund in every district or for two or more districts to be called the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund to which the amount of the fine realized from the employer of the child and adolescent, within the jurisdiction of such district or districts, shall be credited.
This information was given by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.