Mumbai, June 10 (IANS) Actor Anil Kapoor will front a new campaign that will focus much needed attention on child labour in India.
The actor, who is the Goodwill Ambassador for child rights organisation Plan India, will campaign for the NGO’s new initiative to raise awareness and inspire action to pull millions of children out of all forms of labour, said a statement.
“Every morning over 8 million children in India go to work instead of going to school. Our economic progress loses a lot of meaning if hundreds of thousands of children have no hopes of a future,” Anil shared while addressing the media, here to mark the International Day Against Child Labour, which is commemorated on June 12.
According to India’s 2011 Census, out of 8.2 million child labourers under the age of 14 years, over two million are very young children between 5 and 9 years. Millions of children have no access to basic food, shelter, education, medical care or security.
Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director of Plan India, says that “As part of our vision for 2020, Plan India is committed to improving the lives of 2 million children and youth, through direct programme interventions and by working in close collaboration with the Government and other partners to ensure that no child is left behind.”
The actor also announced that a National Conference on Children in Difficult Circumstances will be held in New Delhi in November 2016.
The Conference will be the first ever gathering on the issue where child rights organisations, development practitioners, researchers and policy makers from across India and the world will exchange ideas and best practices in tackling the root causes of inequality and injustice faced by children.
As part of the the initiative, the actor met with children from Mumbai’s slums who work to support their families and are therefore unable to attend regular schools. He also unveiled an exhibition documenting the lives of children in difficult circumstances at the Atrium, Phoenix mall.