In and around Dindigul district several Textile and Spinning mills are functioning. In these mills children even below 14 years were being employed. It is very common here for the children to work in these Textile and Spinning mills during their school annual holidays. This year when the holidays were over the children working in the mills wanted to quit their job and go back to school. But the mill administration with the intent of retaining the children for work withheld their respective salaries. The children were forced to quit their studies and continue to work by the mill administration. The children were also forced to work for long hours by the mill management. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abiyan Scheme when education department authorities tried to enroll the dropped out school children in and around Kambilliambati village they came to know about children being employed in the mills. So they raided the mills and rescued 22 children employed by Bannari Amman Mills. Campaign against Child Labour (CACL), Tamil Nadu came to know about this incident through newspapers and a fact finding team was constituted to find out the truth.
Findings and Conclusions:
- In Dindigul-Karur and Dindigul-Trichy national highways (four lane roads) there are nearly 76 spinning mills and textile mills situated on both sides of road within a radius of 20km from Dindigul city. Some mill owners even own up to 2 to 10 spinning mills.
- A large number of children even below 13 years upto 18 years are employed in all textiles and spinning mills. It is common for the children even standard VIII to drop out of school and be absorbed for employment in mills. Atleast 20 to 100 children are employed in shifts through day and night.
- Denying their childhood and rights of children in the Indian Constitution and UNCRC these children do the same jobs as adults. They are used by mills for high surplus value extraction working more than 10 hours per day besides travel time. The Children are travelling at least 10 to 30 Kms every day for work.
- At least 30 vehicles (van and bus) go to villages in and around Vedhachandhur, Vadhamadurai. They transport people from villages to their work shifts and bring them back. Atleast to 30% to 40% of them are children.
- The percentage of high school and higher secondary schooling dropout is increasing in an alarming rate. The percentage of student’s continuing their education above 8th standard is drastically going down. The spinning mills are employing children above 14 years old as workers, which make the 9th standard students to choose spinning mill work against their education.
- The mill owners are employing children above 14 years old as labours. They are taking shelter under the Factories Act wherein it allows children above 14 years to be employed. They fail to honour the Constitution the UNCRC which India has ratified and the National Policy on Children.
Children in Dindugal District work in these Textile and Spinning Mills discontinuing their studies
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