Special Training Centres for Child Labourers in Madhya Pradesh, India

Special Training Centres for Child Labourers in Madhya Pradesh, India

This project aims to end child labour through education, offer child labourers a tailored educational, physical, mental and emotional support to ultimately reintegrate the children into public schools.

The project at a glance

Location: India, Madhya Pradesh, Dhar District, Nalcha block
Partner : Hand in Hand India
Beneficiaries: 80 children, former labourers
Year: 2017-2019

Context and Issues

India is the South-East Asian country with the highest number of child labourers and more than 30 million children aged six to thirteen, do not follow the school curriculum. Children in rural areas are more vulnerable than children of the same age in cities and girls have a higher risk of not attending school. The situation is even worse for the children of indigenous tribes and castes. The suffering of child labourers in sectors such as weaving, rice mills or stone quarries is significantly underestimated. They are often diagnosed with serious physical and educational developmental delays and the trauma of lost childhood and feelings of permanent insecurity are very difficult to overcome.

This situation affects their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Unable to attend school, they lose not only the opportunity to gain an education, but the precious years of their childhood as well. The apparently obvious choice of placing these children straight into the traditional educational cycle always ends in failure with a lack of attainment and adaptation.

Our Solution and its Relevance

The Special Training Centre has proven to be the most appropriate place as their primary objective is to rebuild social bonds and reduce the children’s psychological, intellectual and physiological developmental delays.

To this end, special educational materials are used that are designed specifically for these children, who have lost years of their education. The environment is safe, comfortable, healthy and enjoyable. Once a child has been taken on by the centre, he or she is observed for between 15 days and one month before being integrated into the centre’s learning process. The child’s level of knowledge is assessed and he or she meets other children on a similar trajectory. Particular attention is paid to helping the children escape the downward spiral of emotional distress.

Working with the families and the communities

The children are not taken away from their families. On the contrary, we work closely with them to make them understand the importance of education for children and for their future. To this purpose, Children’s Rights Committees are created within the communities to support our work and reach out to as many families as possible. They are the ones taking over after our intervention, making sure that out-of-school children and child labourers get a chance to go to school or to special training centres.

A measurable and lasting impact

  • 95% of pupils are reintegrated into public schools.
  • Social workers from Hand in Hand India, our local partner, provide guidance and support to those children who require it. They also follow them up until they turn 18.
  • The government of Madhya Pradesh assess the progress of the children.


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Last updated: February 2019