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Child labour in India

Saturday - November 18, 2017 9:43 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

 

Children in India have very little social security cover. Thousands of children go missing every day, and half of those cases are not even reported. Half of Indian children are malnourished, underweight or suffer stunted growth. Child abuse is rampant even as school dropout rate is high and Indian children are some of the most vulnerable to trafficking due to poverty and illiteracy that dog families.

 

A part of this disturbing social reality is child labour. Several dhabas, hotels, restaurants, garages and cottage industries keep children as workers. They are subject to all sorts of hazardous exposures, both mental and physical, and their childhood is destroyed.  
 
There are several organised gangs operating in big cities which steal or buy children or lure them with money and use them for begging and other such menial jobs. 
 
Due to the inhuman treatment they get, most of these children die even before they get out of their teens. We are short of shelter homes, and rehabilitation centres and those which exist are ill-facilitated and inadequate to reform and promote a noble life for destitute kids. 
 
India is a country of lakhs of lost children who have no home to go back to. They sleep under over bridges, on footpaths and platforms and hardly think beyond a one square meal.  The Supreme Court has put a blanket ban on the employment or use of teenage school going children in menial or hazardous jobs. 
 
There has been a drastic drop over the last three-four years in the trend following the ruling. Hotels and dhabas and garages which traditionally engaged children are now cautious and avoid employing them. Side by side the government’s effort at promoting universal education is seeing more children going to schools today. However, the menace has not completely stopped. 
 
Several industries still surreptitiously keep young boys on their rolls because they are easy to be exploited and that too on a much lesser salary than an adult would need or demand. Economic considerations force poor families to send off their kids to such industries or occupations. Therefore since both parties are accomplices in the wrongdoing, no one complains. 
 
It is only with regular police checks and alacrity of child rights bodies that the illegality can be stopped. But the problem is too big to be tackled effectively and efficiently by the police or the NGOs. The police are understaffed, under the pressure of leaders and ill-equipped emotionally and logistically to crack down on errant companies which employ children. 
 
The number of NGOs or activists working in the field is too less compared to the actual need. Poverty and lack of awareness do their bit in helping the evil spread its roots. Also, the nexus between traffickers, underworld cartels, politicos and industrialists is so deep and intricate that it is very difficult for anyone to detect and rescue children from their clutches.- Window To News


 
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