A year after being embroiled in a child labour controversy, leading US apparel and footwear brand Gap has embarked on a national initiative for welfare of children and women in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and various state governments.
"The initiative will see the company forming a collaboration with the central and some state governments, like Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, for prevention, rehabilitation and eradication of child labour and exploitation of women labour at various outsourcing factories of the company," Gap International Sourcing (India) Director (Social Responsibility) Lakshmi Menon Bhatia told PTI on the sidelines of Pure & Play Retail Summit in New Delhi.
The company has also started a special rehabilitation centre for women and children in association with Delhi-based NGO Self Employed Women's Association in the national capital.
"...in this regard, we have provided $2,00,000 (over Rs 85 lakh) to SEWA in setting up a destitute home in and around Delhi," Bhatia said.
"We are endeavouring to bring together the government, NGOs, private companies and the society at large in a spacial partnership to eradicate issues affecting women and children in the unorganised sector," she said.
A special team of Gap is working across the world to bring together all the stakeholders under a common umbrella, Bhatia added.
Gap has also formulated a code of vendor conduct following the International Labour Law Convention and all its suppliers have to adhere with the ILO norms, she said, adding "A 90 member Gap team of inspectors are working round the clock to monitor the working conditions and other amenities at the sourcing facilities".
Gap has about 200 supplier factories in India, besides thousands of others in Bangladesh and Central American countries.
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