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Child Care Program

Child Care Programme is an intervention model for tackling child labour and protecting children’s rights to education. A deeply rooted socio-economic problem, child labour is highly prevalent in cottonseed production in India. For the past four years, Bayer CropScience has worked effectively to implement a comprehensive multilevel Child Care Programme (CCP) as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. This programme has been rolled out in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where the company has contract cotton seed production. It aims at getting children off the fields of contract farmers and into the school.

Every morning, Chandrakala can't wait to pack her school bag
to school. And it takes her past many fields in which hybrid cotton
seed is being produced manually

Ramanjeneyulu, teacher in Naandi runs CLC
for Bayer CropScience in Arragidda.

In line with the companies’ policy of “Zero tolerance for child labor”, the company only works with growers who confirm by contract not to employ children on their fields. In order to ensure ‘zero child labour’ production farms, a number of monitoring teams check the entire production area without prior warning several times per season. If children are found to be working on cotton seed contract farms, growers are warned and educated. In repeated or severe cases of contract violation, farmers ultimately face the termination of their supply contract. As a result of which compared to figures of about six working children per acre of cottonseed fields, Bayer BioScience has managed to reduce this number in the company’s production area to a practical level of zero.

Where isolated cases of child labour are still being found on occasion, they are being immediately addressed by trained company staff of a newly established, fully resourced in-house organisation, especially designed to managing the Child Care Programme. The new Child Care organisation has developed an expert Management System thereby enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of ongoing efforts while ensuring sustainable success of Bayer’s commitment to child rights protection.

The Bayer- Ramanaidu Vignana Jyothi School of Agriculture was established as a part of Bayer CropScience overarching umbrella ‘Learning for Life’ strategy to foster (science) education globally. This School is a spin-off from the Child Care Programme, the first-of-its-kind model developed and successfully implemented in an industry with a farm-based supply chain that aims at getting children off the fields of contract farmers and into the school.

The School trains the deserving and talented rural youth with child labour background in the areas of agronomy, crop protection, seed production and communication and helps them gain a sustainable livelihood for the life.

The School has become operational in the first quarter of 2008 and currently has 29 students. The one-year Farm Assistantship course is offered to these students free of charge and the School provides placement assistance on completion of the course.

In the current growing season, some of the initiatives that have been undertaken are:

Revitalizing education – establishing ‘Creative Learning Centres’ through a Non-Governmental Organization, Naandi Foundation. These Centres will provide books and other infrastructure to ensure adequate Naandi’s efforts will aim to integrate children from cotton seed farms to mainstream education
Incentives and bonus to farmers and villages for not employing children
Low interest credit provided to farmers through a designated bank
Increased technical assistance for higher yields
Sanctions against farmers who employ children
Regular checks are conducted by company / independent authorities to ensure compliance to "no child labour“
Target 400 training which is a comprehensive methodology of crop management from seedbed preparation through to post harvest operations is given to improve the economic condition of growers
Vocational training centre for rural youth

Bayer CropScience runs 19 Bridge Schools or Creative Learning Centers
across Andhra Pradesh that help mainstreaming of school drop-outs or
out-of-school children

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