Government had initiated the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme in 1988 to rehabilitate working children in 12 child labour endemic districts of the country.
Objective of the Scheme:
- This is the major Central Sector Scheme for the rehabilitation of child labour.
- The Scheme seeks to adopt a sequential approach with focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations & processes in the first instance.
- Under the Scheme, survey of child labour engaged in hazardous occupations & processes has been conducted.
- The identified children are to be withdrawn from these occupations & processes and then put into special schools in order to enable them to be mainstreamed into formal schooling system.
- Project Societies at the district level are fully funded for opening up of special schools/Rehabilitation Centres for the rehabilitation of child labour.
- The special schools/Rehabilitation Centres provide:
- Non-formal/bridge education
- Skilled/vocational training
- Mid Day Meal
- Stipend @ Rs.150/- per child per month.
- Health care facilities through a doctor appointed for a group of 20 schools.
The Target group:
The project societies are required to conduct survey to identify children working in hazardous occupations and processes. These children will then form the target group for the project society. Of the children identified those in the age group 5-8 years will have to be mainstreamed directly to formal educational system through the SSA. Working children in the age group of 9- 14 years will have to be rehabilitated through NCLP schools established by the Project Society.
The entire project is required to be implemented through a registered society under the Chairmanship of administrative head of the district, namely, District Magistrate/Collector/Dy. Commissioner of the District. Members of the society may be drawn from concerned Government Departments, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs, Trade Unions.
The projects have been taken up in the Central Sector, the entire funding is done by the Central Government (Ministry of Labour & Employment). Funds are released to the concerned Project Societies depending upon the progress of project activities.
Present Status of NCLP Scheme - Jalandhar Project:
At present about 6000 special schools are in operation under NCLP scheme. As on date more than 10 lakhs children have been mainstreamed into the formal education system under the Scheme.
This project is running in 14 states, Punjab being one of them and in 3 cities in Punjab (Amritsar, Jalandhar & Ludhiana). In Jalandhar there are 27 NCLP schools out of which 6 schools are under the management of SGFI. When the project started we were given 4 schools then in 2008 we had 8 schools under our management till 2013. Since 2013 we have 6 schools under our management comprising of 300 children.
The 6 NCLP schools under the management of SGFI are:-
- NCLP School – Basti Mithu.
- NCLP School – Tilak Nagar.
- NCLP School – Khurla Kingra.
- NCLP School – Leather Complex.
- NCLP School – Basti Sheikh.
- NCLP School – Shastri Nagar.
The head of the project is the Deputy Commissioner of the district & through the local Labour Department it is implemented. The government will not run these special schools but through the NGO’s & SGFI being a non-profit is running 6 schools currently out of those 27. Besides, SGFI hired a full time Principal & also provides free uniforms to the kids besides celebrating national festivals & organizing cultural events out of its own funds.