Nearly 50 lakh child labourers in India: Govt

New Delhi: Nearly 50 lakh children are still engaged as labourers across the country, Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge informed the Lok Sabha today. He, however, made it clear that the number of child labourers in the country was declining. "As per Census 2001, there were 1.26 crore working children in the country in the age group of 5-14," he said during Question Hour.

He said the survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation in 2004-05 estimated the number of working children at 90.75 lakh. "As per NSSO survey 2009-10, the working children are estimated at 49.84 lakh which shows a declining trend," Kharge said.

He informed the members that government provides funds to NGOs for projects like eradication of child labour and running of schools in the 75:25 ratio.

The minister said UPA government has implemented the Right to Education Act under which Rs 40,000 Crore has been earmarked for education of children. This would help prevent child labour and put the children in schools.

However, some members protested when Kharge failed to give a deadline by which child labour in the country would come to an end.