A hot issue that has caught the attention worldwide and has resulted in many awareness campaigns being created is of child labor in India. It is a serious problem which is on top priority for the government.
The following facts have contribute in making this evil exist in our country:
Not that a parent dreams for their kid to spend their childhood working, but circumstances are such that they are pushed to push their kids to work early. A child by the age they start working hardly understand what they have to do and need to do, and since they are individuals who can’t take decision for themselves, it is given the term of ‘Forced Labor’.
Many of these little kids end up working in an atmosphere which is not safe and can turn extremely hazardous. Children working in places such as the matchsticks factory or firecrackers almost put their life in danger working there. Not only this they are subject to violence at the hands of their employer when working as a domestic help, at hotels or dhabas and sometimes the industry which has hired them.
It’s the parents on one side who impose working, the other side is the frightening one where children are trafficked majorly for illegal purposes. These trafficked kids are either put into the merciless business of begging or end up working as a sex worker. The figure of child trafficking is astonishing with about 1.2 million children being trafficked worldwide for some or the other purpose.
It is heartbreaking to know that there still exists a cruel form of barter system where in return to the basic necessities the family gives their child to work to pay off the debt. The creditors here give loans to the family which has no written record and the time of its payment cannot be determined. What more it is, than just another form of slavery? It is a bond that has the parents and the creditors involved, the price of which is paid by a little kid.
The ratio of girls being put to work is more than that of boys. They are most likely to be pulled out of school to start working as a domestic help. This decision of pushing girls to work is biased because of their gender. The member of the family who can improve the condition of the coming generations is bound to stay uneducated.
The working children remain underdeveloped at many levels, be it intellectually, emotionally, physically or psychologically. There exploitation makes them crave for everything starting from education to a healthy life. Their physical ordeal makes them exhausted quickly, as a result making them vulnerable to health related issues. Lack of education makes them incapable to contribute in their wellbeing.
Despite knowing that this is a crime, there are industries which opt for child labor as they are cheap and in the end it’s the work that they want done so it doesn’t matter much to them what age the labor is of. Industries which have prominence of child labor are glass factories, carpet weaving industry, match box factories, lock industries, coal mines and brass industries.
Many of these ignorant kids are sold by their family to pimps who put them into the dirty world of prostitution. By the time they understand what they are doing, they are deep into this dirty business which trades their flesh and locks them for lifetime trading their body for money.
Most of the children working put in an average of 21 hours of labor per week. These kids who should have got the freedom to spend hours in their innocence playing around spend their lifetime working. We know childhood is the time that one enjoys to the fullest, imagine them spending their enjoyable moments doing all the hard work that needs to be done as adults.
Tackling child labor has been a major agenda of the government, starting as early as 1980s, when the NCLP (National Child Labor Projects) was created, which has been refined over the years. Though awareness has developed still this issue is predominant even after 25 years of realizing the problem. A law passed in 2006 clearly states that children below 14 cannot work, however like many other laws this law also lags in enforcement where out of about 1200 operation conducted only 200 were prosecuted.
Thinking that Child Labor can just be eradicated with awareness programs will not serve the purpose. The problem is interconnected with many other issue such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination, fighting for basic necessities. All these evils need equal attention and killing one problem is connected with killing the other. So more revision of thoughts and laws only can bring a change in the system and people.
Give them resources to live a considerable life then at least one problem will be resolved of the many. It’s terrifying to know that earning a day’s food is a tough task for people of the strata who push their children to work. If only they got the basic necessities of life then their kids would probably be able to see the childhood they should see.