Ever thought about making a complaint against this heavy bag that your child has to lift or a all the homework that his teachers give him at school? Tough life you think?!
It is time to make a note that there are kids of this age working tirelessly and lifting heavy bricks and operating hazardous machinery. Welcome to India, a place where report on carpet industry in India and child labor practice in this industry reveals that children are made to work up to 18 hours and are abused and beaten, sometimes locked away as well.
They do not work because they believe in empowerment or want to socialize, they are forced into labor practices by their very own families. Let’s look at the reasons that force child labor in India:
The biggest reason a child in India is made to work is ever rising poverty. UNICEF India has made an estimate that at least 13 million children from age of 5 to age of 14 are indulged in child labor in India. Most likely there are many many more!! The birth control practices are completely non-existent and every family has quite a number of kids available to make them work and earn for the family.
Early age marriages:
While there are laws that set a minimum age of marriage in case of girls and boys but they remain null and void in these poverty struck regions. Early childhood marriages mean the couple is hardly educated or has vocational training so they are left with no other choice but to work at factories or serve as domestic servants.
1.2 million Children are subjected to human trafficking where they are forced into the worst form of slavery and are forced to work as sex slaves. Sometimes they are bound to work as sex slaves till the end of their lives. Other times they are rescued by NGO’s who are working to stop child labor and human trafficking.
They vicious cycle of family debt:
There are no registers recording the exact amount of debt and how much has been paid and the child might end up working forever to pay off the debt of his family. So, a loan taken years before the child is even born seals the fate of the child into this ruthless practice.
Industrial revolution in India has given rise to a lot of demand for child labor as it costs less and the child is unaware of how to negotiate for a pay raise or foresee the dangers involved in working in a hazardous environment in such a scenario.
There are many NGO’s and bodies like Isha Vidhya or The child labor coalition social workers like Kailash Nath working to stop child labor. The hopes remain high from the current Prime Minister, Narendara Modi to end child labor as his history is no different and he sold tea with his father at a railway station. So, the nation expects him to put an end to child labor as he can very well relate to the misery associated with it. Another initiative womennow.in also covered already is barefoot college. It is an NGO that provides basic services and solutions to problems in rural areas. Read more here and here.
Check also out this video about child labor, from 2013 but still, the major facts remain.