Children of over 400,000 construction workers at the Commonwealth Games sites are deprived of basic rights like sanitation, schooling and healthcare, said a report released by NGO Child Relief and You (CRY) on 4 August 2010.
“We found children living in the workers’ temporary camps living without quality food, safe water, sanitation, quality formal schooling or daycare, healthcare and a safe environment – basically without a childhood,” CRY director Yogita Verma said.
Children are dropping out of school due to poverty-linked migration to work at the construction sites, the NGO said.
At one construction site at Siri Fort, a sample study found that none of the children attend school.
“Sanitation facilities are almost non-existent, with mobile toilets in some places not cleaned. There are no facilities for childcare like anganwadis at or near the site,” it highlighted.
“Housing conditions are very poor with tin and plastic sheets being used as housing materials,” it added
An estimated 415,000 contract daily wage labourers are working on the six Commonwealth Games venue clusters and five standalone venues.
CRY has told the Delhi government that special attention must be paid to the needs and rights of children of construction workers, especially to secure housing, drinking water, sanitation, healthcare and education.
The Commonwealth Games have been under scrutiny for their spiralling costs (estimated at US$ 2.5 billion), allegations of corruption, and the eviction of over 100,000 poor families.
The Games are being held in New Delhi from 3-14 October 2010.