Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Child labour

I saw a post in Sreekrishna's blog about child labour.
This is one of the subjects that has been in my mind for a long time.The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (RPT 1986), aims to stop people from employing children below 14 as domestic helps and in the hospitality industry.
Do we really think that the law that prohibits employment for kids who areless than 14 yrs is really doing what has to be done?Enforcing the law may be a success...but is addressing the problemand finding the desired solution a sucess?
This is a social problem that is entwined with so many otherweeds in the society.
Now lets address this from the grass root level
1A. Let us face the truth....these kids are from the lowest strata of the society So where is the food and where are the necessities
1. When a chid enters the world whose responsibility is he/she I have seen umpteen cases where the father absconds as soon the mother becomes pregnant
2. Who has more responsibility...father or Mother Most of the time it is the abadoned mother who lugs the luggage.She is one over-worked exhausted personand educating her kids is the last thing in her mind.
3. What situation are the parents are in They are left with no choice but to let kids go and work if not for money, atleast for their food.
4. What is the Law going to do for the child after it stops the child labour Educate in private schools?
5. I have heard that teachers go from house to house in rural areas and take the kids to school...leading the horse to the water...can they make it drink?
6. Parents are punished....employers are punished....what happens to the child?
7. Which is better child labour or chilld prostitution? Child prostitution is a topic better left undiscussed as it is a classic, fool-proof recepie for giving a lot of us depression with a capital D.
8. What about labour that trains the kids in some skill...so that he/she becomes an entrepreneur later...have'nt innumerable tea-stall owners worked in tea-stalls before?
These are the questions that has to come to ones mind while thinking of child labour.
Lets take education. Are government schools doing justice? Why do the upper-crust employ private teachers to teach Maths and language after school hours? What happens at these expensive, exclusive eminent private schools during school hours...? If such is the case with these highly priced schools..what do we say for Government schools?
8A. What does the Government do for the kids after every erring adult is arrested? They are left with the parents to do what.
The teachers from the school in that area give a strict warning to the parents to send the kids to school. How long does that child go to school?9. The sucess of each child comes from the unit called the family. If not for our parents we would'nt be in a position to think about these unfortunate children. Let us remember that our mothers were always keeping a tab on our studies and activities when we were getting our basic education. Please my friends..visit the nearby slums and see if there are any responisble families?
Show me one man who is not an alcoholic.
Today's position is "your children and my children are playing with our children".
10. So which is the problem we are going to face now?
Now majoirty of these kids are not going to become engineers or easily employable literates. I am not pessimistic, just practical. So how are we going to employ them? Who is going to conduct campus-interviews for them ?( and in which campus)
Instead of alloting huge sums for jail upkeeping is'nt it very important that we alocate money to educate and employ the kids who are employed now . Set up institutions like the christian missionaries do and have a boarding set-up for these kids. Identify the talents in these kids and with the mininum of Govt expense give them vocational training with a skill-set that is immediately employable. I think food industry is one area which needs development and people to work there. Attach these schools to some industry and teach them work.
Let us come to children already in employment.... What should the Govt do? Make the employers prove before an independant efficient body attached to the judiciary that the employment is suited to the child, liked by the child, safe, the needs of the chilld is taken of and there is appropriate compensation that is saved for the child for future self-employment and most important of all there is going to be a permanent future in that particular line of work for the child. Most of all see if the kind of work can be handled by the kids and if there is any learning involved in it.
These may sound like injustice as compared to the affluent children but friends we should accept that in poor countries like ours economic disparity makes all the difference.
Where and to whom a child is born seals the fate of that child.
Last I have to say this about the law "well begun is half done" .
Thanks for showing interest in my thoughts and looking forward to your opinion.

6 comments:

expertdabbler said...

rombo impt topic
u've analysed it well..
this is one of the classic instances where law which is out of synch with reality is more of a pain than a tool to address social issues

Sree's Views said...

Thanks for agreeing with me

Lost Forever said...

Very well said sree ! child labor is a social problem and making a law and trying to enforce it wont resolve the real issues ,in a developing county as ours where a huge chunk of the population is still under poverty line and working children may be a major contributors to their families income ,A blanket ban on it will do more harm that good ,as you rightly put it, the best option will be to strictly regulate and monitor the environment where a child is working, let the govt decide the industries which may be considered safe for children above a specific age , what type of work they can do, and make sure that it’s the employers responsibility that the children working under him get basic primary education an total personal development and later some vocational training or regular classroom education as per the child’s interest .But a note of caution ,all this is much easier said than done . how can we expect the employers in the unorganized rural or urban area who are so use to manipulating this cheap child labor to fall in line. This is were the society in general and high profile NGO’s in specific has to play the role of a watch dog .. lets try to provide the child hood that they deserver, at the same time provide them a means to generate income for themselves and their family …Kudos to u sree for writing such a comprehensive and well researched blog you have successfully tried to cover all the causes which make a child lose his happy playful child hood and start supporting his or her family ....Looking forward to read more posts from u sree

Sree said...

Hey lost ,
Actually after writing this whenever I saw kids playing I felt very guilty about it....Can't there be some way they can also lead a happy carefree life?...Just b'cos they are lesser blessed monetarily...shd they have to go throo all this....
Thanks for your opinion

Sree's Views said...

hello

Void said...

Hi all
just new to this blog.......child labor .......very relevant, and important......somebody has said there has to classification of what is safe, acceptable etc...all that is there already, i have been doing compliance audits for a decade now, so it exists (in paper!) implementation.......well which law in india is fully implemented, and let us define implementation, does it also presuppose an element where the citizens follow? let the individuals answer that. Regarding this Rajaji sometime ago said, that vocation training for children to follow the skills of parents is important, but politics, the dirty element cropped its head and gave a lopsided glance to that comment, but today that is what is happening in one form or the other. is there a way to hold the government accountable for not giving quality primary education? a larger question - is there a way to hold the government in India accountable at any point of time? if we are facing a wall with this question, let us do something else - the void