By admin       2017-11-27

Recently, the government has issued a directive to file cases against people who employ children in fields (including their parents) after learning the gravity of the issue. The District Collector and Superintendent of Police have instructed police constables to make rounds of villages to stop the menace. However, the ground reality remains the same. Pasha says, “These measures are ineffective. The farmer says that they also want to educate their children, it is their helplessness which forces them to stop them from going to school. The only way one has to deal with them is, by going easy on them.” “If these cases are filed, every farmer in the district would be booked,” he says. He points out that only through counselling the dropping out of school children can be reduced. While the ground reality of school children still being employed during cotton pollination remains the same, District Agriculture officer, Govindu Naik says that there has been a gradual decrease of school dropouts in the last three years. He says that there has been a reduce in seed cotton production as most of them are opting for commercial cotton production – in seed cotton production, the pollination has to be done manually and they fetch more money, whereas in commercial cotton production there is no need for pollination. “Out of the approximate 3.5 lakh hectares of agricultural land, in 2014, 45,000 hectares of land were used for seed cotton production. The year later it came down to 35,000 and this year it came down to 25,000,” Naik says.

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