Maling catapults mass awareness against child labour employers

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, June 14: Mass awareness on ‘employment of children as labourer in any form is illegal’, spread across Arunachal Pradesh by constitutional body Capital Complex Child Welfare Committee, particularly after advocate Kani Nada Maling took over as its chairperson in 2016, has created a fear psychosis in the minds of such employers.

The Maling headed CWC, set up under Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2015, led movement not only brought mass awareness across the state but also took the guilty to task and freed child labourers with the help of childline and police. Most of the child labourers, 90% of 352 rescued by her, were sheltered at Oju Welfare Association, Naharlagun, for providing health care, education and skill training before restoring them to their parents after counseling not to engage their children as labourers. This data is as per OWA chairperson Anya Ratan.

Education impact has been catapulting fast social change in traditional tribal society of Arunachal Pradesh. Tribal women are now taking leads in almost every fields in this male chauvinist society which once considered them as only house keepers, would be mothers, cultivators and  subservient to them.

Women empowerment movement, initiated by All Arunachal Pradesh Women Welfare Society (AAPWWS) is behind the success as women have proved their abilities in various fields – education, games and sports, judiciary, even in exclusive male bastions. There are plenty of examples – RGU assistant Prof Dr Tadang Minu, sate’s first to obtain doctorate in health education, fitness & wellness, while Nyayir Riba has been propagating uniqueness of state culture and traditions across the country, particularly in Indira Gandhi Rashtriay Manab Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. But Anshu Jamsenpa is the glittering example for being only woman on earth to conquer five times Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world.

Many such path-breaking women have been working for greater cause of this tribal society though not given due recognition to justify the adage diya tale andhera (Darkness lies below the lamp). Silent worker Maling, who served as legal adviser of Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women for seven years, is a befitting role model. Despite a working husband and children, she manages time to discharge her assigned duties with a difference.

When asked how she spread awareness, she said that she took the help of Itanagar Childline, Don Bosco School and Rajiv Gandhi University students to organize skit play across Capital Complex since 2016 that changed the attitude of the masses. Such awareness was also organized in various districts and the painstaking efforts yielded the desired result.

With ‘never-say-die’ spirit, Maling also secretary general of AAPWWS, as an activist intends that much desired attitudinal change alone could take this land-locked state to higher pedestal,  if “we all walk together to anticipate a better tomorrow, lest our future generations blame us”.

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