Front page‎ > ‎Opinions‎ > ‎

Child Labour

India cannot get over the Child Labour matters, not unless, we are a developed nation. Those non-government organizations, who are busy challenging small scale factories, for making use of child labour, in the court, seems to forget that, if that child they are fighting for, does not work and earn some money, his family might not be able to pay their bills at the end of the month! Its easy said, that the child should be in school, studying but, look at the other way ... how does he pay for his studies or support his family! Fine, we have schools where street children can study for free, but what level of education do they provide? And, is it enough for the child to be able to take up a job when he actually graduates. And the other question is, will he survive till he graduates!

The fact is, Child labour is not only a talk for debate in India, but it is equally a matter of concern is probably every developing country. I lived and worked in Brazil for around a year and, there too, unlike India, we see children around the streets selling food, clothes and maybe even working in small scale factories too. 

If we are really concerned about the children of our society, and want them to have a better future, in order to make a better India, we should instead, see to that, that these children get their basics right. For e.g. we can arrange a work for them, which is not hard work or needs lots of physical activity and involves health related or physical risks, like it would be in any small scale factory. We could arrange their working hours such that, the child gets time to study, and work, so that, by the end of the day, he has earned some money and even have studied. Probably arranging daily meals, during work hours will be an add on. A quarterly medical check-up, together with doctors arranged with the Rotary or Rotaract could make sure that the child matches his growth & development as per decent standards. 

Having a job, where the child can earn some money, together with studying, will make him more responsible, as a person. He will be able to value studies and the worth of his earnings. Further, we can even record the data of total children, per batch or per project, in order to monitor their performances and making sure that, non of them end up into the hands of child-traffickers. And of course, we should motivate them and, try to encourage them to have a goal in life, that way, they will be able to develop themselves individually as a person.

Therefore, the next time, when you see or hear anyone talking about putting an end to the Child Labour matter in India, or any other country for that matter, please try and share some positive thoughts, in order to evaluate the situation and develop a better solution. Just forcing the child to study and putting an end to that little income of his, won't help solve his family problems. It might seem good the first week, if you are able to achieve your goals, but eventually, it will bring him back to where he was.

Contributed by: Mohinder Pal Singh
City: Kolkata
Country: India
Date: March 31, 2010