CHILD LABOR IN INDIA
By: Shaju and Deepa, India
This day is celebrated as Children's day all across India. But majority of the children still face a lot of problems in our country everyday such as child labor, malnutrition, sexual abuses, not getting proper education etc.
Even though the government and various welfare organizations are trying hard to help the struggling kids and overcome their problems, but the count is not decreasing.
In India,there are about 50 million children who are below 14 years of age are engaged in some kind of labor. For instance, in a town named Sivakasi in the state of Tamil Nadu, there are thousands of children working in fire cracker factories.
The reason for engaging them is simple. The owners don't have to give much wages to them. Almost they are paid only one-tenth for a normal person.
Although the Child Labor Prohibition Act bans the child labor, but still these laws are not enforced completely. This has always been a problem in India. The laws that are formulated are never followed. In addition of the existing laws, the government has to make tougher laws against the child labor.
Education is still a dream for many kids in India. Another important reason why the child labor has to be thrown out of is that it deprives them the education they require to survive in this modern world. Today,computers and technology are playing an important role in the world and hence the kids must be provided with a proper education.
The government has made tremendous efforts in order to provide education for every kid by providing free education, uniform dresses and books. In addition, food, milk is also provided for the poor people to come to schools. But as per government statistics, still there are around 8 million kids are not attending school even though education is considered as a fundamental right in our country.
The parents have to take much responsibility in their kid's education in order to give them a wonderful future. Education should be made a must for everyone to overcome this problem. The number of schools especially in the villages should be increased.
Malnutrition is another important problem faced by the children in India. As per various reports, every year there are at least 2 million below 5 years of age die due to various preventable and curable diseases. Half of the country's children are underfed and around 45 per cent of children below the age of 3 are underweight.
In spite of rapid increase in economy growth in India, the child mortality is bad compared to small countries such as Bangladesh. The rate stands at 7.2 per 100 live births. India ranks very low in the world in public health spending. India is also a member of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), but it is not following member states guidelines to recognize child's inherent right to life. This needs to be taken care with utmost importance, as the country is expected to face these kinds of problems more in future.
Another worst problem that the country faces is sexual abuses against children. If you open any newspaper in India, you can see a least one child abuse case highlighted almost every day. Such is the rat eat which is the child abuse is increasing in the country. It sounds very shocking but it is the truth. In fact, the cases that are reported to the police are very less as the families fear for shame and media coverage makes them even more difficult.
The children below the age of even five are getting raped again and again. More than 90 per cent of the abused are the girls. Even the teachers whose responsibility is to provide good education are involved in such shameful acts. Also there is no clear law in India to tackle these issues. The laws have to be made strict and should be enforced in order to punish those responsible for these merciless criminal activities.
If India has to be become a developed nation, the child abuses should be tackled as soon as possible and the children should get the basic essentials such as education,food. Until then celebrating children's day every year doesn't make sense. Hope India overcomes these problems and a true children's day will be celebrated in near future with happy smiles in the faces of all the children in the country.
"Child labor has assumed gigantic proportions today. In most developing and under-developed countries, children are exploited because they work more than the adults at less than half their wages. In India, child labor is rampant in carpet-weaving, the bead industry and wayside eating houses. Their lot is, indeed, pitiable. The following measures are suggested to improve their lot:
Education for all must be made mandatory for all children of school-going age in all parts of the country, and it should be free. Children should be encouraged to attend school and, if need be, their parents be given incentives for sending their children to school.
Legislation , such as the British labor laws of the late 19th century, banning child labor be enacted and strictly implemented at all levels. No child below the age of 14 Should be allowed to in sub-human conditions that have become the lot of child laborers today. Stringent punishment should be meted out to the employers as well as the parents of such children, who are below 14years of age and working in factories.
The Government should generate mass awareness about the harmful effects of child labor on the society. Non-governmental organizations such voluntary leaders like Swami Agnivesh should be encouraged in their efforts towards eradicating child labor.
Basic necessities of life must be made available to the people at the grassroots level because it is economic compulsion That forces the parents to send their children to work at an early age as more hands supplement the family's meager income.
This, coupled with vigorous family planning drive,should lead to the improvement in lot of child Laborers and, in due course of time, in the elimination of child labor from India"