Nepal Today

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

THREE MEMBERS OF FAMILY SICK AFTER EATING WILD MUSHROOM Kathmandu, 13 June: Three members of a family have fallen sick after Eating wild mushroom in Morang. The family hailed from Raighat. nnnn CABINET MEETS AFTER REQUEST BY PARTIES TO ANNOUNCE ELECTION LAWS AND VOTE DATE Kathmandu, 13 June: Cabinet meets for a regular meeting Thursday. But it is meeting after a high-level political mechanism (HLPM) of UCPN Maoist, NC, UML and Madesh Morcha ‘asked’ government to unilaterally promulgate election laws to announce date for a constituent assembly elections The government is acting as if it is an appendage of the HLPC amid charges an election held by government directed by the mechanism can’t be free and fair. Government is holding consultations with concerned to promulgate laws for the vote while also announcing official dates. Election commission has proposed a vote on 14 November after bhai tika. The HLPM .couldn’t resolve differences on election laws before asking government to draft them. Leaders of political parties are now asking people to support a government decision on a vote. nnnn RESCUED CHILDREN FROM BHAKTAPUR LAND IN THANKOT Kathmandu, 13 June: Having “rescued” around 150 underage children working in Bhaktapur’s sari embroidery factories in July last year, the government and private agencies concerned might have lauded their move as a giant leap towards curbing child labour in the country. However, no less than a year down the line, the problem that was supposed to have been solved in Bhaktapur has shifted to Thankot, a few kilometres west of Kalanki in Kathmandu, Ankit Adhikari writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Thirteen-year-old Sanjeev Yadav of Sarlahi district is one of the child labour ers who used to work in an embroidery factory in Bode, Bhaktapur, before the ‘rescue operation’ was carried out under the Bhaktapur District Administration Office (DAO). He is now working in another factory in Thankot for the past five months. “We were sent home after the rescue operation,” he told the Post. “I lived with my parents for a couple of months and then got employed again,” Yadav said. To return to work, however, was not this 13-year-old’s choice. “My parents were in need of money for my elder sister’s wedding,” he said. “They found this job for me and took Rs 20,000 in advance from the sahu (owner).” Sanjeev is earning Rs 5,000 per month. After the wedding, he has been funding his family and looking after the education of his younger brother who goes to school. Sanjeev’s friend from the same district, Shyam Yadav, 14, who is working in the Thankot factory with Sanjeev, also used to work in Bhaktapur before the ‘rescue operation.’ The duo came to Kathmandu together, along with five other children from other neighbouring villages. There are seven other children of almost the same age as Sanjeev and Yadav in the Thankot factory owned by one Hira Paswan of Mahottari. “Life is good (for them) here,” Paswan said. “The kids and their families would have suffered more in poverty had they stayed home.” Paswan, 23, himself, started work when he was 12 years old. He claims to have learnt the skills of embroidering in Mumbai in India. According to a recent data compiled by the Child Development Society (CDS), there has been a sharp rise in the number of children working in Thankot-based embroidery factories after Bhaktapur’s rescue operation. While the number of children there was around 300 before the Bhaktapur operation, it has now gone up to over 350. According to the data, there are around 100 embroidery factories in the Capital. Around 500 underage child labour ers, mostly below 14 years, are employed there, CDS researcher Yubraj Roka said. “Most of the child labour ers are brought from Tarai districts such as Mahottari, Sarlahi, Birgunj and Janakpur,” he added. Admitting that a number of rescued children have returned to the factories in other parts of the Valley, Nita Gurung, Programme Manager at the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, said the government is ‘doing its best’ to keep the rescued children in their own villages and send them to schools. According to her, the government has been running an immediate relief fund programme to support parents of children who were sent back home from their workplaces. “We distributed Rs 7,000 per family to tackle poverty and gave additional funds to those willing to go to school,” she said. “This was successful to a certain extent. However, some families were reluctant to take our support. They have been claiming that their children should be allowed to work. We are also looking to address such families.” As the world marked the International Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday, the International Labour Organisation said as many as 10.5 million children worldwide work as domestic servants in hazardous and slave-like conditions. Of them, almost three quarters of such youngsters are girls and that 6.5 million child servants are between five and 14 years old, the UN labour agency said in a report. nnnn


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