Karimnagar: Child labour is very common and a major concern in the country. In Karimnagar district also, one can see children working in brick kilns, hotels, houses, shops in Karimnagar district.The Central government had promulgated Child Labour Act to prevent using children as labourers. According to this Act, anyone who engages children below the age of 14 years, will be imprisoned between six months to two years or a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 or both. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us But many people in the district are not afraid of the Act and continue engage children for their work. The district officials concerned never cared to take any action despite several complaints of child labour in several areas. Moreover, they declared that there are no child labourers in the district. But the statistics tells that many children were rescued every year through Operation Smile and Operation Muskaan. The Ministry of Home Affairs had launched Operation Smile to rescue and rehabilitate missing children. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us Taking cue from Operation Smile, the Telangana government launched ‘Operation Muskaan’ in 2015 to trace missing children, children involved in bonded labour, begging and those who were trafficked. The rescued children will be handed over to their parents. From 2015, the State government in association with Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Committee, Labour and Health departments, Child Protection Unit and NGOs conducting ‘Operation Smile’ from January 1 to 31 and ‘Operation Muskaan’ from July 1 to 30 every year. Advertise With Us Karimnagar district bagged first place in the country by saving more children compared to other districts. The district officials have rescued 472 children in 2015 and about 1,965 children in 2016, 486 children in 2017 and 311 children were rescued in 2018. As many as 141 children were rescued during Operation Smile, conducted from January 1 to 31, 2019. The officials urged the people to call tollfree number 1098 if they find any children working at various locations. The district child welfare department will rescue these children and will send them to State Children’s Home run by the government and will provide education. If they children have parents, they will collect the details from the child and will give counselling to their parents. A faculty of Social Work, Ganjirala Sridhar said a law to prevent child labour was enacted in 1986. As per this law, anyone employs children below the age of 14 years for work at hazardous places will be punished along with imposing penalty. ‘And as per Right to Education Act, children aged below 14 years should be sent to school and those who are dropped from the schools for some reason and found outside working should be rescued and must be admitted into school. But the education department is not implementing the right properly and Badi Bata programme is being conducted formally only to show the authorities without seriousness’ There is a need to start massive movement against child labour, forced labour and all forms of exploitation of children along with the implementation of Child Labour Act effectively across the district, he added. District Child Rights and Protection Officer Parveen said that to convert Karimnagar into a Child Labour-free district, with the permission of District Collector Sarfaraz Ahmed, a rescue programme has been conducted from June 1 to 30 in coordination with Bachpan Bachao Organisation, police and child welfare department and lodged cases against two persons, who deployed children for work. A survey is also being conducted with a private organisation to collect the details of children, aged below 14 years. The survey was completed in Jagtial and Peddapalli districts and is in halfway stage in Karimnagar and Rajanna Sircilla districts. Once the survey is completed, the district will be announced as Child Labour-free district, she added. Meanwhile, the police along with the officials of departments concerned have rescued as many as 41 children during the ongoing Operation Muskaan, held till July 15 under Karimnagar Police Commissionerate from various places.