BHOPAL: Rope-walking by children, which is against juvenile justice, still continues for a livelihood in state capital. It was spotted at Top ‘n’ Town, New Market on Friday. New Market happens to be the busiest market of the state capital and policemen are stationed there, but still it happened.
The mid-air performance varies — sometimes barefooted, sometimes in flip-flops, sometimes walking inside a wheel or with a plate beneath one foot. But each time, her aunt thumps rapidly on a drum and draws in curious passersby.
Archna Sahay, child rights convener, said, “Rope-walking by children is against juvenile justice. It’s the responsibility of all, including civic body officials, traffic policemen, the police and even the common man, to dial Child Rights for the safety of such children. The Right to Education Act mandates free and compulsory schooling for those aged 6 to 14, but an outright ban on child labour, proposed by the government in 2012, has not been properly implemented. The current law prohibits children under 14 from working in hazardous jobs — yet, even this is not properly implemented.”
“The basic thing is ignorance and the belief that a child is required to earn for the family because families are so poor,” Sahay said. “This is keeping them locked in a vicious cycle. The only way out is if a child studies and gets education.” She said attitudes towards child labour were “very, very slowly changing”, but much more needed to be done to alter the mindsets of both families and the law-enforcement agencies.