Make right to health fundamental right, Kailash Satyarthi urges govt

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday urged the government to make right to health a fundamental right and allocate funds to meet health and education needs of children, especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the eve of the World Day Against Child Labour, NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, in association with the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, organised a “Consultation on Elimination of Child Labour amid COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Giving a clarion call for 'Team India Against Child Labour', Satyarthi urged all ministries, institutes and the civil society to work together with a shared objective.

“How can we leave our children behind and think of the country's development? This would be against humanity. COVID-19 pandemic has made children more vulnerable, and an alarming increase in child labour has been reported during the last four years as well even before the pandemic hit,' he said.

'We need to take new bold steps and add health as the fourth wheel of our work on child protection, which includes the right to education, poverty elimination and eradication of child labour. I urge the government to make right to health a fundamental right and make adequate budgetary allocations for the health and education needs of children,” Satyarthi added.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar said, 'As the labour minister, I am focussed on bringing justice and access to rights to all children. As COVID-19 is leading to a rise in cases of child labour, we have to ensure child protection.' 'It is one of our government's top priorities to meet the goals and targets on ending child labour. Over the last few years, we have taken some important steps. We have to ponder over how we can provide access to education and health and care to children who have been affected by COVID-19. I look up to the action points coming from Shri Satyarthi and his organisation and work towards including them in our future roadmap,' he added. PTI UZM IJT IJT