According to the 2011 national census, there are 4.3 million children between the ages of five and 14 who are involved in labour. This number, staggering as it may be, is outdated, considering that six years have now passed. With the enactment of the Right to Education Act, 2009, a reduction in this number has been observed, but not at a rate we can boast of. Moreover, with the growth of unorganised sectors, one cannot ignore the possibility that the number of children involved in these sectors, too, is growing. As the government’s Ministry of Statistics revealed, nearly 85 percent of child labourers in India are hard-to-reach, invisible, and excluded, as they work largely in the unorganised sector, both rural and urban, within the family or in household-based units.
With child labour still being rampant in Karnataka, the state government has decided to roll out a plan that could potentially wipe out the problem significantly.
According to a report by Times Now, Mathews Philip, the Executive Director for South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), said,
An SC judgment becomes the law of the land and the KPTCL has the obligation to enforce this verdict. CACL should give wide publicity to this judgement and put pressure on the Ministry of Energy to implement the order. This case was filed in the HC in 1999 and KPTCL went on to appeal in the SSC in 2006. The case was pending for almost 11 years.
An Indiatimes report says that the Supreme Court has favoured the plea of 'Campaign Against Child Labour – Karnataka' against the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd and also confirmed the order by Karnataka High Court that an undertaking should be taken from industrial/commercial consumers that they will not engage child labour.
The order states that they can disconnect power supply to those who employ children in violation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, and Section 24 of the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1961/Factories Act, 1948.