Monday, 1 February 2010

Kids working at construction sites..!!!

While the preparations for Commonwealth Games are reaching feverish pitch and results becoming apparent, a new report has come out highlighting that Children as young as 5 years old are working on Commonweamth Games venues.

This has put the government on back foot and have raised questions regarding the manner in which human rights are being flouted. Preliminary investigations reveal that government may not have to do anything with it, and contractors may be happy to allow children of workers to do small jobs. This though keeps children in front of their parents eyes, is a clear violation of basic rights of a child.

Children are slaving away at work on building sites in New Delhi as the Indian capital struggles to get ready for this year's Commonwealth Games.

Struggling to hold up shovels, which are as tall as they are, the children have been seen working on drainage contstruction sites in front of the $1.8 billion Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, where the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games and the athletics events will be held.

The sheer scale of the construction has drawn an enormous population of migrant workers from all over India. And now it seems children have been drafted in to get the stadium and its surrounding area finished on time.

Some have argued that children are not working but are playing around construction material. However, it is still disappointing picture of apathy of Indian government and lack of focus on safety of people.

Last week, the High Court of Delhi has sought a response from the Government over the alleged failure to provide all the benefits of labour laws to workers involved in construction work for the Games, with workers being paid below the minimum wage while being forced to live and work in sub-standard conditions.

The Commonwealth Games Federation has repeatedly expressed concern about the slow pace of work for the Games, which will involve 8,000 athletes.

Federation president Mike Fennell in December said he was distressed by a report by the CGF evaluation commission that two major venues, the Nehru stadium and the swimming arena, would not be ready until June, barely three months before the opening ceremony. In fact, not a single venue has been completed.

The CGF report cited problems ranging from ticketing and transport to accreditation and accommodation, amid reports that only 10,000 of the 40,000 hotel rooms expected to be needed are available.

A separate Indian Government report found construction work on 13 out of the 19 sports venues was behind schedule.


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