LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif yesterday went to the Jiya Bagga village, 33 kilometers from Lahore. The purpose of this surprise visit on helicopter was to review implementation of anti-child labour op, said handout.

He reviewed the situation at three different brick kilns of the village for several hours and also talked to the labourers.

Talking to the chief minister, the workers lauded the decision of Muslim League-N government to rid the children of labour at brick kilns and to give them a monthly scholarship of one thousand rupees.

“It will also change the destiny of their families and save them from the oppressive system,” they held.

The chief minister expressed strong indignation at seeing a 13-year-old boy Muhammad Danish working at a brick kiln and reprimanded the owner. He said that Danish should be studying in Daanish School instead of working at a brick kiln.

He expressed the hope that use of force will not be needed and the brick kiln owners will help in the education of children as they are future of the nation.

He said that no one would be allowed to mortgage these children in return for advance payment. Shahbaz Sharif announced complete financial support to the children working at brick kilns and said that he will not rest content until every child working at brick kilns is enrolled in school.

“Education of these children is a national cause and the Punjab government has allocated crores of rupees for this purpose. All out funds will be provided for the education of these children,” the CM maintained.

He said besides giving a monthly scholarship of one thousand rupees to every child going to school, the government will also bear his educational expenses.

He said that free uniform, textbooks and stationery will also be provided to these children while transport facility will be extended to the children of far flung areas.

He said that a sum of two thousand rupees will be given to the parents of the children going to school.

Brick kiln workers and the people of the village expressed pleasant surprise at seeing the chief minister among them.