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The Born to be Free project has set up clubs called Young Pillars. They are mainly for children freed from child labourer, but all children can join. The clubs offer a place where they can meet together and support each other.

Many clubs become strong advocates for child rights. They speak up for child labourers being exploited and tell Born to be Free project workers about the situation. The clubs perform dramas about the problem of child labour and encourage people to work together to eliminate it.

Young Pillars clubs organise community service projects and save a small amount each month to fund their activities. Project workers provide training for club leaders and treasurers in leadership skills and relevant issues.

Child labour Abolition Day
Child labour Abolition Day

Representatives from each club form the Young Pillars Federation which aims to eradicate child labour in the Vellore district by 2007. The Federation participates in the Born to be Free project and is actively involved in the National Movement of Working Children (NMWC). This movement has pledged to fight for the rights of children and totally eradicate child labour in India.

Parents in Self Help Groups also take action to release children from bonded labour. The groups promote school attendance through Parent Teacher Associations so that parents realise the value of education.

Dramas, marches, publicity and public ceremonies to release bonded children all raise general awareness and motivate people to address the child labour problem.

Settu joined the Young Pillars club for released child labourers. Here he can get support from other children with similar experiences. Together the Young Pillars find ways to raise awareness about child rights and help children still in child labour. If they hear about a child who is bonded, they tell the Born to be Free project workers so they can take action. The Young Pillars also perform dramas in their community, spreading the word that child labour does not work. The Young Pillars' aim is to eliminate child labour in their region within 10 years.

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Speaking up for children's rights.
Speaking up for children's rights.