We talk about development, becoming a super power, Growth and with this we talk about Youth, children and how they would shape up the future of this nation. But where is the youth, where are the children?
Are we providing them with what they deserve and is their birth right? Are we ensuring that they become capable enough to sail this nation through towards development?
I am talking about CHILD LABOUR.
As per the government statistics there are 20 million child labourers in india but many NGOs assert that the figure is more than 60 million.
These children are deprived of their childhood, education and happiness.
You would see most of these children working in factories like textiles, bhidi, firecrackers and other hazardous environments. It not just hampers their health but also takes away from the opportunity to have a better life.
Many of these children are employed around us in dhabas, tea stalls, hotels etc. We see them, interact with them but we ignore what they are going through. These children slog for about 14-16 hours a day, in inhuman conditions, to earn bread and living. They are not just paid less but are also subjected to domestic violence thus adding their misery.
The most common misconception that many of us have in our mind while keeping a child at our place for domestic work is that we are providing food and shelter to a child. But we often ignore the fact that we are taking a lot more from this child. We deprive this child of education, its childhood and most importantly an opportunity to make his/her life better.
Although government has several acts but the fact that we see so many children working around us tells us that these laws are not implemented. The government in its attempt to reduce child labour recently included employment of children in dhabas, tea stall and restaurants “hazardous” occupations thus making it illegal to employ children at such places. But these rules remain on paper and their implementation is hardly seen.
We cannot change the system and force government to ensure that the law is followed, but we can change ourselves. We can ensure that when we see a kid working, we don’t just ignore it and actually help that kid make his life.
Nobody expects you to take that kid with you and fulfil his/her needs. It’s understood that we all struggle to make a living and it cannot be expected out of us to take this burden. All that is required is calling an NGO and informing them about this child, so that they can ensure that this child is taken out of this mess and given a world it deserves, a world where there is happiness.
It is only when we abolish child labour and take steps to ensure that no kid is deprived of its childhood and basic needs can we progress towards our ambition of becoming a global superpower.