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80,000 children to be rehabilitated under INDUS project

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) Eighty thousand children working labourers will be integrated with mainstream education by 2007 under the INDUS (Indo-US) project for the elimination of child labour.

The three-year long INDUS project was launched in February 2004 as a follow up of the Joint Statement on "Enhanced Indo-US Cooperation on Eliminating Child Labour". The aim of the Project is to ensure elimination of child labour from hazardous occupations in identified districts through effective convergence with the Department of Education.

The US Department of Labour is providing 20 million dollars being matched with equal amount from the Indian Government. The project is being implemented in 21 districts of Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

The National Child Labour Projects (NCLP), launched by the Ministry of Labour on August 15, 1994, has been extended to 250 child labour endemic districts as well as revised during the 10th Plan.

The revised scheme by emphasis on convergence with other related government programmes. Under the revised scheme, while special schools run under NCLPs will mainstream working children in the age group of 9-14 years to the formal education system, while those in the age group of 5-8 years will be mainstreamed directly through the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan.

In addition, the revised scheme also strengthens other components such as health check-ups, nutritional needs and vocational training.

Outlay in the 10th Plan has been fixed at Rs 602 crore as compared to Rs 250 crore during the 9th Plan. The effort is to achieve complete elimination of child labour from identified hazardous occupations and processes by the end of the 10th Plan.

The Labour Ministry also runs Grant-in Aid Scheme whereby voluntary organisations are assisted upto 75 per cent of the project cost for taking up welfare projects for working children. During 2004-05, about 87 voluntary organisations were extended under the Scheme.

UNI AJ SI RAI1440

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