There is an old proverb that goes “The child is the father of the man“; it basically translates that infancy is the decisive stage when a man’s character is moulded, personality is build and values inculated. Quality of life at this stage assumes great significance in life. Unfortunately children remain a rather uncorked for and deprived in an adult centric world which observes everything from its own misconceived sensitivity.
Deprivation takes the form of lack of quality time with family, dearth of personalized love and a compassionate ear in the prosperous countries while in the third world it is symbolized as being deprived of basics like food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education. In the under developed countries children aren’t just ignored but actively oppressed as a means of cheap labour. Eliminating child labour is one of the biggest challenges that whole world is facing. Child labour is an offense not in favour of humanity: it is a heartless practice that hinders the physical and psychological development pf the child. Children are too young to understand that they are exploited. The industrial revolution and the resultant migration to the urban areas in search of jobs and a living marked the beginning of child labour assuming shocking extent and became a major social issue. Children on account of their inherent innocence and exposure became ill fated sufferers in the new industrial era of increased production, competition and an unlimited opportunity to make money and businesses looking for a cheap and absolute labour force.
There are millions of nations underprivileged and exploited children running the looms in the zari embroidery works in Varanasi,India; toiling in dark abd dingy rooms, inhaling fumes and toxic chemicals in the marble quarries of Kota,India; match and fireworks industries of Sivakasi, polishing shoes, working as a cleaner boy to earn a secure meal for himself and his family. They are also employed in slaughter house; in utter disregard to their sensibilities being exposed to such activity could leave a serious and a permanent scar on their psyche. They are also linked to “bounded labour“.
“Child labor perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems” – Kailash Satyarthi
The resolution to child labour is possible with a change of heart and concern, we have to continuously teach the people on how unfair and unjust it is to employ child labour. Real emancipation is possible only when the economic divide between rich and the poor is narrowed, parents aren’t forced to send their children to work as the only means to live, discourage employers from hiring children through strict implementation of child laws, policing and imposing high penalties on defaulters. Saving the child from an exploiting employer and leaving the family with no other option is not the solution.
There are variety of associations which are combating against child labour by assisting children and providing education amid society from where bulk of the child labour comes. It is worthwhile not to hire children at hime as for domestic help in daily household tasks. We all need to take strong steps in this direction so that we can make this world a beautiful place for a child to live in.