Monday, April 12, 2010

Child Labour Soars High in India

How many of you have got your car or bike cleaned, washed, or repaired by grease smeared, tatter clothed, smiling child in the past one year? I am sure there are quite a lot of you nod “yes”. Yes, indeed, child labour is very much in practice in every part of India! Despite the ban made by our government in October 10, 2006, many mechanic shops, factories, small-scale industries, and restaurants hire children below the age of 14 for the age old reason – more work and less pay.

This is not just the whole picture! According to a latest survey by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), approximately 246 million children between the age of 5 and 15 are employed in various hazardous and non-hazardous works. To add to that, Pacific – Asian countries tops the list of countries with highest child labours and not so surprisingly, India tops the list of countries in the Pacific – Asian countries.

Why should our country wear this dirty crown? The instant answer is, many Indian men and women are below the poverty line and lack the basic education to fetch a job or earn their daily bread. Inevitably, the responsibility is shared with the children of their household. The lack of employment opportunities for the low-skilled workers in urban sectors and the degrading requirement for physical labour in the rural sectors also add up to the increasing child labour.

This increase in the number of child workers, working for low wages has triggered the greedy minds of many employers, who started the practice of child trafficking. In India, child trafficking has increased two-folds in the past decade. Sometimes parents, themselves come forward to sell their children for a few hundred thousand rupees, to pay off a debt or just to feed their stomach for a few more months. These children are either made to work without wages or not given adequate food and sleep. Some children are even forced to work as sex-workers or beggars. Whether the parents of these innocent children are aware of these facts remains unknown.

To eradicate this kind of injustice done to children is a big goal for the nation and us. Schemes like the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan have been implemented by our government. In addition, the Indian government has also launched 76 child labour projects that have been sanctioned under the National Child Labour Project Scheme that covers 150,000 children across our country.

Under the Child labour Prohibition Act of the Indian government, child labour is banned in 13 industrial sectors and 52 types of work, which includes domestic work and work in the hospitality industry. According to this act these sectors should not employ children below 18 years, but, lending a deaf ear, there are many industries and individuals who continue to employ children for many industrial and domestic works. Many of us fail to realize that, the government has many rules and laws in place to abolish child labour, and it us who are encouraging child labour both directly and indirectly. The answer for the million dollar question, “How to abolish child labour?” lies within us! Stop encouraging child labour and do not fear to raise your voice against your neighbour or mechanic who employs children for their own greed for money.


  1. question! say somebody spotted a company that "employs" kids below the legal age. The government comes to know about it through that somebody. And if that company ever gets checked, wont they not bribe them to get rid of the problem.

    Its a very complicated issue, and you are right, people should stop encouraging. But I think its really hard to eradicate this problem completely unless people who employ or use kids, show some humanity..

  2. @Pavan: That's the whole point i am stressing on.... people who employ kids should stop it, else there is no other go!

  3. just one small thought me read from some where:
    just nationalise chidren..
    it is the duty of the government to grow them..
    (if it is a true government - they have to do that)

    me heard: an elephant nvr cared to give milk to any children - whether it is of its own or not?

    but a vast country like ours nvr enable to do that (may be this would be the politician's view!)

    but how they collecting the tax in this vast country with a huge network- every body knows..


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