She Reads South Asia


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Anti-Child Labour Campaign

December 04, 2006
Rajen Nair

It was in the month of October, this year, that the Government of India, with much fanfare, enacted the law of banning child labour, in this country. It was welcomed by one and all.

The United Nations Children's Fund, popularly known as UNICEF, while lending support to the government decision of banning child labour, had come out with its own anti-child labour campaign.

Eight year old Choonam Kumari alias Chuniya, from Northern Indian state of Bihar and hailing from a poor family, was the lucky one to have been chosen to feature in UNICEF's awareness campaign against child labour. The UNICEF poster depicting Chuniya's innocent smiling face, which had received country wide publicity, created the desired impact and became an instant hit with the Indian masses.

Later, Chuniya once again hit the news in the Indian press, but this time for wrong reason.

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