Bengaluru: Bowing to pressure from the entertainment industry, the Union government has overturned a five-year blanket ban on child labour. The union government has introduced the new Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules 2017 that allow child actors to perform in TV serials and films with certain provisions.
A child actor is now allowed to work in entertainment industry for not more than five hours a day, and for not more than three hours without rest.
The Child Labour (prohibition & Regulation) Amendment rules have now been retitled as Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules.
Under the new rules, producers of audio-visual media production or any commercial even involving the participation, will have apply for and obtain the permission of the District Magistrate of the district here the activity is to be performed.
Before starting the shooting, the producer will have to produce before District Magistrate the list of child participants, consent of parents or guardian and designate one person from the production unit, who will be responsible for the safety and security of the child.
Furthermore, the producer will also have to ensure that all screenings of his films and television programmes shall be made with a disclaimer specifying that if any child has been engaged in the shooting, then, all measures were taken to ensure that there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of them during the entire process of shooting.
The producer will have to ensure facilities for physical and mental health of the child; timely nutritional diet; safe, clean shelter with sufficient provisions for daily necessities; and compliance to all laws applicable for the time being in force for the protection of children, including their right to education, care and protection, and against sexual offences.
The producer will also have to ensure that there is no discontinuity from the child’s lessons in school. The rules also prohibit any child being made to work consecutively for more than twenty-seven days.
More importantly, at least 20 per cent of the income earned by the child from the production or event to be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank in the name of the child, which may be credited to the child on becoming a major.
No child shall be made to participate in any audio visual and sports activity including informal entertainment activity against his will and consent.
Vasudeva Sharma of the Child Rights Trust said it is a good move to bring in these new rules. But he said producers must be sensitized and parents must speak up if their child or ward is exploited. “I have nothing against children performing in TV serials, movies reality shows etc. It is only in the child’s advantage if his/her talents are given a stage. What I want is to ensure that producers are sensitized and parents speak out if they feel their child is exploited. The new rules must be enforced, only then will it make any kind of a difference,” he said. Child star Disha’s (who plays Mani in Kannada serial 'Kinnari') mother Shwetha welcomed the move. “My child only works for three or four days in a week on the sets and is treated very well. But I feel these rules are necessary as it will benefit other child artistes,” she said.