In a quarry in the south of the city of Guwahati, what Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller wants for the entire region of South Asia has been achieved: there is no longer any child labour. For the poor families in the slums of the region, the hard work in the quarry is a livelihood. But thanks to Childaid Network’s projects, their children can now go to school and build a better future.
Dr. Martin Kasper, honorary director of the Königstein Children’s Fund Childaid Network, explains how this was achieved in person on the ground in Gorschuk, a district of Guwahati, the capital of Assam, India. During his project visit on 27.2. 2020, the Minister learned that the project “Child Friendly Guwahati” has halved the number of street children in the metropolis of millions in the past seven years and that child labour has been almost completely eradicated.
The project, which also mobilised many local civil society organisations, was initiated by Childaid Network and implemented together with local partner Snehalaya.
Around 40 neighbourhood centres have been set up to look after and care for the children from the slums. The aim of the initiative is to free children from exploitative employment relationships and to bring them to school or vocational qualification. For this, the motivation of parents to enable their children to have a better future is crucial.
In addition to a daily hot meal and regular medical check-ups, children are informed about their rights and prepared for entry to a state school with bridge courses. More than 4,300 children have been trained in a regular state school in recent years and are being accompanied and supported there. More than 4,000 young people have been given vocational training.
This is an initiative that the Development Minister, Dr. Gerd Müller, would like to see elsewhere. In order to give more weight to his demands in the fight against child labour and to familiarise himself with the actual working conditions of the people, the minister undertook a trip to India and Bangladesh last week.
The Minister spoke to the children, parents and social workers in the project to get a personal impression. He was accompanied by his wife and several selected journalists.
The following media have reported on the trip:
More about the child friendly Guwahati project by Childaid Network