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CRY joins hands with hotels to fight child labour

When Parikshit Jha (48) went out for dinner with his family this Saturday,he did more than satiate his palate.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | Mumbai |
June 15, 2010 2:57:58 am

When Parikshit Jha (48) went out for dinner with his family this Saturday,he did more than satiate his palate. “We go out for dinner every Saturday,but its usually all about food. This Saturday at Theobroma,we were made aware of child labour,” he narrates. After paying for his meal,Jha donated Rs 300 ‘for the cause’.

This Child Labour Day (June 12th),Child Rights and You (CRY) launched a month-long campaign in partnership with seven restaurants in Mumbai,that kick started on Sunday. “Though the 2006 Child Labor Act banned the employment of children in hotels,the hospitality sector still remains a major proponent of child labour in the country. Thus,we aim to nip the problem in its bud by involving hoteliers in our effort this time,” said Priya Zutschi,Communications Manager at CRY.

Aromas,Valhalla,Lemongrass,Potpourri,Asia 7,Punjab Grill and Theobroma are the restaurants that have joined CRY in this project. “By signing this initiative,they declare themselves child labour free,and also spread the message among their patrons,” explained Zutschi. Posters have been put up in all the eateries,and fliers are being distributed by waiters and guards at the parking spaces. Sapna Malhotra,Senior Vice President at Dadar,said her restaurant had taken the campaign a step further. “We are contributing Rs 3 from every bill for CRY’s work. We get 300-400 customers a day,so we hope to generate a sizable sum in a month’s time,” she said. Restaurants are also encouraging guests to donate voluntarily. “Our waiters will request customers to support this effort in whatever way they can,” adds Malhotra.

This is only the first step in CRY’s campaign. “Eventually we want to reach out to the dhabas  and small hotels which actually employ children. This only serves as an entry into the hospitality industry,” said Zutschi.

Meanwhile,like Parikshit,patrons have given their thumbs up to the project. “It’s a nice idea because they are reaching out to people in a relaxed environment when they are receptive to such a sensitive issue. Also,the one-on-one conversation is more effective than lectures,” said Dhruv Bajaj,a foodie who frequents Aromas.

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