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Now, Cong split over child stars in TV shows


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
Jul 11, 2009 at 05:12pm IST

New Delhi: After confusing signals on Section 377, the Congress could be split open by another issue. This one has to do with child artistes in TV serials.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has told CNN-IBN she has no problems with television serials featuring child artistes, completely contradicting the Maharashtra government, which is a Congress-NCP combine.

"There is no problem with child stars featuring in serials, because after all, parents are the best judge of their children. If parents are okay with it and the children are continuing their studies alongside, what is the problem with them performing in serials?" she asked.

The state government had last month issued notices to several production houses, warning them against violating the Child Labour Act by using children in their TV shows. Production houses that were facing the heat are currently producing serials like Balika Vadhu, Chak De Bachche, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby.

The state labour department had taken these production houses to task for not complying with provisions in the Child Labour Act under which child artistes should get one hour rest after every three hours of shooting. Also, their studies should not be affected. If found guilty, the production houses may have to cough up Rs 10,000 in fine or face imprisonment of up to six months.

And even though the child artistes had later issued endorsements saying that they were treated well and happy, the government said it was not satisfied with the replies submitted by the production houses.

Ambika Soni has said that she would review the notices already issued.

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