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Child Labor

Saturday, Apr 12 - 2014 | By Satabdee Subhadarshee Sahoo

Child Labor is a serious issue which is prevailing in the developing and undeveloped countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. It is an issue of subsistence that forces children to take up menial and low paid jobs and give up their studies at an early stage of their life. The parents of these children find it hard to earn money for good upbringing of their children, so they send their children to earn their livelihood. These children are really unfortunate. They have to struggle really hard to survive in this cruel world. The parents of these poor children find it hard to continue their studies and send them to earn something to assist their family at all means. 

In India there are about 100 million children who are engaged in this inhuman trade. These children are forced to earn their livelihood as they have no other option. They are engaged in many types of trade. Some of them are engaged in a rich man’s house where they work as servants. A great number of them are engaged in trade like bee keeping, carpet making, tending of cows etc. Many of them are also sold to the rich Arab merchants for camel races. These types of races are organized by the Arab merchants for amusement. These children also work as servants in their houses. Life is very harsh for them. Even at extreme temperatures they work hard for food. Many of them are sexually abused. Some children wear the masks of animals like tiger, lion, snakes etc. and play the roles of animals in amusement parks and other public places to amuse the people. There are some cases in India where children are found to be working at a construction site. They put their life in danger to earn money. Many of them die or get severely injured due to electric shocks from un-insulated cables or by falling from the top of the building. Due to lack of money many parents force their children to go to railway stations, cinema halls, temples, parks and other public places and beg. There are cases like some children dressed as Mahatma Gandhi and begging near a railway station in Andhra Pradesh. During summer season these poor children suffer a lot. They die due to sunstrokes or dehydration. But they are left with no option other than to work in a place whether in a tea stall, construction sites or sweet stalls. They do a lot of hard work but are paid very low wages. Child laborers can also be found in a circus. Sometimes they are engaged in small trades like shoe polishing. Also it is heard that innocent children are made handicapped, lame, blind and forced to beg. 

The root cause of child labor is poverty. Due to lack of money and unemployment, parents are forced to send their children to earn money and assist their family. In some way, overpopulation is also a major cause of child labor. Since the population of India is very large with limited employment facilities, many people remain unemployed and cannot find a source to earn income. So they enter into this inhuman trade. They handicap children, cut their legs or hands, or blind them and force them to beg or sell them to other countries where many of their body parts are cut down and are used for laboratory work or for scientific research. Corruption is also another cause for child labor. Today, due to corruption, rich is being richer and poor being poorer. So poor people have no other option left and they send their children to work. But above all, the most important cause for corruption is illiteracy. 

The problem of child labor cannot be uprooted unless the parents are aware about the welfare of their children as well as about its results. This inhuman trade cannot be stopped unless a severe law is passed against it. Employment of children in any farm in European countries is considered as a punishable offense. Primary education might be helpful in solving this problem. But most poor parents are not in favor of sending their children to school in fear of loss of income. So the initiative has been taken by the government of India to uproot this great curse from the society. The government is providing free education to the children. Various schemes are being adopted by the government to increase the attendance in government schools like the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS). Awareness is being created among the people through various campaigns as well as through television shows. One such show in Odisha is News Fuse. It has caused wonders. Many people are being aware through this show not only about child labor but also about other problems. 

Child labor being very cheap, children are employed by greedy traders. This exploitation goes on because poverty is the root cause. Education is the best way to eradicate the problem of child labor. Time has come when the nation should rise against such evil practice and protect these “Angels of God”.
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