Child labour has been an international concern because it damages, spoils and destroys the future of children. The problem of child labour is not just a matter of concern in India but also in other developing countries. It is an epidemic and a social evil. Children are the hope and future of a nation. Yet, there are millions of them deprived in our country who have never known a normal, carefree childhood.
HFCF believes that children should be given an opportunity to attend and finish their schooling and have a healthy childhood. Unfortunately, this is not the reality we face every day.
According to the All India Edu Survey, there are more than 17 million "Child labourers in India” and children between the ages of 5 to 14 years are employed (National Census 2011). The law in India through the JJ act says that any child below the age of 18 cannot be employed and truly speaking child labourers, we all know are frequently utilised in various places of production and service such as small scale industry, domestic help, shopkeeper’s assistant and quarries.
One of the main reasons behind this is poverty! When earning a livelihood and taking care of the members of the family becomes a primary matter of concern, education stands a little or, very often, no chance of pursuance. For the underprivileged children and their parents in India, education is perceived as a luxury, and this negative outlook continues on with every new generation.
Think about it… If a child is engaged as a domestic help, she or he doesn’t get enough time to pursue primary or secondary education and is most likely to remain illiterate, unskilled, perhaps to remain unemployed or be engaged as an unskilled "cheap labour” when they grow up. This is what we witness at HFCF every day with our women in the community.
The government has been taking various pro-active measures to tackle this problem. However, considering the magnitude and extent of the problem and given that it is essentially a socio-economic problem inextricably linked to poverty and illiteracy, it requires concerted efforts from all sections of the society to make a dent in the problem. It concerns all of us!
What We Do
Every year at HFCF, we run a campaign called ‘I Say NO to Child labour’ with different events such as awareness campaign in public space, rally & walkathon, media advocacy, signature campaign and child labour mapping and rescuing.
As part of our mission at Hope for the Children Foundation, we support and help reintegrate children into mainstream education through our holistic programs such as Shiksha Ki Asha and most importantly, we help and support prevent children drop out of our educational programs.
Here what we have been doing over the years
To mark the World Day against Child Labor, HFCF organised a peaceful rally to create awareness on the streets of Pune. The honourable Mayor of Pune, Sri Mohan Singh Rajpal and Caroline Audoir de Valter our founder at Hope for the Children Foundation cut the ribbon and initiated the walk from MG Road at the corner of Sholapur road, to end the march at Aurora Tower.
The march was a great success. Despite the rainy weather conditions, many people enthusiastically joined the peaceful walk, among them, Four Point by Sheraton employees and Radio One partnered with HFCF for this initiative along with NCS Computech Pvt.Ltd, Scandic Food India Pvt.Ltd and Chareon Pokphand (India) Pvt Ltd and the whole HFCF team marched together.
To create awareness, flyers and stickers were distributed to shops and people. We distributed caps and badges to the participants and put up stickers that said "I say No to Child Labour” on MG Road. People who supported the march also signed their names and wrote slogans in protest against Child Labour on the banners that were put on the sides of the van.
As an extension of our commitment to the welfare of children, Hope for the Children Foundation had organised different activities such as advocacy, survey, and events with the aim of creating awareness on child labour and the importance of education and engaging people in making changes and taking a step to eradicate child labour.
ADVOCACY: On June 12th,2012, HFCF founder personally attended a meeting with the Pune collector Mr.Vikas Deshmukh, the Pune Police commissioner, and the Department of Labour and CACL members in which a discussion was conducted on the roles and responsibilities of the police department while conducting Child Labor raids along with legal action to be taken against the employer. A poster for this effect was inaugurated and put across all the police stations across the state of Maharashtra.
SURVEY: HFCF conducted a survey on Child labour in the community where we work and among individuals, small entrepreneurs & corporate houses. This survey helped us to identify how much people understand the cause of child labour and what we can do together - to make a change. This survey was useful in making a road map in creating awareness on the issue of the child labour.
EVENTS: Hope for the Children Foundation in partnership with Inorbit Mall, Pune, and Radio Mirchi organised 2 weeks Awareness Campaign and a signature Campaign at the Mall.
To close this campaign a big event was organised at the Inorbit Mall on June 30th. For the occasion, a theme to song "Right to education” was written and dedicated to Hope for the Children Foundation. The Lyrics & music was written by Amar Kulkarni with his band Ajala Dhwani and they performed live for this occasion along with our dance academy partner, Irisha & Awadhesh. I&A choreographed and performed a dance with 100 children under our programs to raise a voice against child labour. The cricketer from Mumbai Indians, Dhawal Kulkarni graced the occasion.
On 20th June 2012, we Inaugurated our "compassionate kitchen”. The idea was to start nutrition clinic that will support our projects and maintain quality produce for our community and street feedings.
Our theme for 2013 was "Say NO to child labour under domestic work”.
A signature campaign was conducted in association with Pune Phoenix Marketcity. The campaign generated more than a thousand signatures from people pledging against child labour. Our active volunteers urge Puneites not to employ Child domestic workers but rather send Children to school for a better life and happy childhood.
The campaign ended with a music event carrying a big message. Joining hands with us, renowned, musician Anaida endorsed the event, as our Goodwill Ambassador. Once again, Amar Kulkarni and his band Ajala Dhwani joined us with their beautiful music.This event was supported by the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Mr Ratnadeep R.Hendre, Mr Manish Shroff, Governor of CACL Maharashtra (Campaign against Child Labour), Mrs Anuradha Sahasrabudhe from Childline, Pune, and Founder of HFCF, Ms Caroline Audoir de Valter.
During this event, Corporates made a pledge to say no to child labour and to employ children below the age of 18 years in their premises. A certificate issued by CACL & ARC has been given to Avaya, The Westin Hotel, Uninor, Oakwood Premier Hotel & Phoenix Marketcity. To culminate this event, 10 NGOs across Pune received 1,500 new school kits.
HFCF partnered with Uninor, the Telecom Company to conduct a child labour mapping in Magarpatta city. This mapping was done in collaboration with 15 children from our ‘Shiksha Ki Asha program” as part of an educational & social initiative. The group went from shop to shop spreading the message of child labour in shops. They explained to the shop owners that keeping child labour is illegal and children should go to school. The same was conducted in the proximity of our office during the child labour mapping; the SKA children along with our Social Worker identified and rescued four child labourers from Hadapsar, Pune. The same activity was conducted with Dnyana Devi Childline and ARC. A total of 68 child labourers was identified in the process. All these children have been rescued, provided medical treatment and given shelter or restored to parents.
With an objective to minimise and eliminate child labour from the country, on 13th June 2015 Hope for the Children Foundation in association with Aircel Telecommunications and the Little Door, Pune organised a "Walk for their Freedom” event to raise awareness about the scourge of child labour. 400 people participated in the event and pledged their support for the cause.
The cause partners for this event are ARC (Action for the Right of Children) and CACL (Campaign Against Child Labour). Other collaborators, contributors, sponsors and supporters include Aircel, Goel Ganga Group, Oakwood Premier Hotel, Columbia Asia Hospital, VLCC, Raw Pressery, The Little Door, Abhishek Mantri, Vibez, Cooper Corp and SQ Cheers.
On 12th June 2016, Hope for the Children Foundation in association with Aircel Telecommunications and The Little Door, Pune organised for the second consecutive year "Run for their Freedom” marathon to once again commemorate the World day against Child Labour.
Our Pune City Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla was the chief guest flagged off the participants. Speaking at the inauguration, Ms Shukla said that the cause is very noble and each & every child should get access to proper education, as it is their civil right. She assured her pledge and support towards the cause of Child Labour.
Over 1500 runners participated while 100+ volunteers managed the event with support from about 65 policemen and women to ensure the safety of all runners, 14 pit stops managed by Firstfitt gym, 7 restaurants came together to offer food and beverages, 300 runners from Credit Suisse joined us for this event.
"This was Pune coming together to support the cause of fight against Child labour,” said Caroline Audoir de Valter, CEO and Founder of Hope for the Children Foundation.
On June 11, 2017, we will be conducting this year's edition of World Day against Child Labour - Run for their Freedom Marathon. Like in the past we intend to make this event too a grand success. Registrations are open and can be done through
We are always looking for more support to reach out to more people. If you want to be part of this campaign in any way possible and be the voice of change, contact - email@example.com