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Child labour- can it really be really eradicated?

Posted on 4 May 2010 | 9:18 am by

Fun and frolic is enjoyed by thousands of children in India. However there are millions of kids in the same country who are unaware and deprived of it. They probably go to bed tired and hungry as usual, not knowing when they will get their next meal. The reality of ‘two India’ is nowhere more heartbreaking than in the state of this underprivileged majority which forms the part of toiling masses, destitute, deprived and disadvantaged children.

Children are a ‘generation of hope’. But how can we have any hope when facts tell us a different tale. India has the largest number of child labourers in the world i.e. around 17 million out of total 400 million as revealed by Child rights and You (CRY). More than 100 million children worldwide do not go to school. In India, around 13.5 million children are out of schools. Our children are being denied right to educate, social security, health, food security and the right to life. Accordingly this worst deprivation compels them to work as labourers in fields and factories.

Child labour is the crime against humanity and society. It is a brutal violation of human rights. It kills their growing childhood before it blooms. Children due to socio-economic compulsions have to do hard long hours of life threatening works in pathetic and inhuman conditions, which thwarts their world of imagination and creativity by thrusting them in to mechanised way of life and lead them susceptible to dangerous and life snatching diseases like asthma, TB,HIV etc. Some maimed or crippled, lose their eyes or get burned while working with hard machineries in plantation industries, fireworks, deep mines, garbage dumps, carpet industries etc. It stunts their physical and mental growth. Children are made vulnerable to abuses as well as persistent beating on trivial mistakes. Many of us see these emaciated children doing hazardous work with their tender hands at this delicate age which must hold toys to play. But those starving figures work sincerely at cheap wages and bear their employer’s torture. They serve food at dhabas and restaurants with hunger pangs in their own bellies. They have some wishes and whims but they have to bear the brunt of poverty, which is the seed bed of it.

We watch their heartening conditions in our real life; we get trembled to see their plight and feel a sense of responsibility, a few moments of guilt for not helping them and a few seconds of determination that one day we will. But after 30 short seconds our flash of consciousness change as the change of another ad or channel which take our mind distant from the realities.

Children are being punished not for any fault of theirs but for that of their elders. Their parents consider it prudent to send their non school going children to work and earn who themselves sit idle and demand extra income to satisfy their addictions. A staggering proportion of children pulled out of schools because of accessibility, social discrimination in schools, repulsive teaching methods in order to supplement families’ income. Some parents also offer their children to work for an employer in lieu of a loan and debt. It is a matter of shame that most of child workers are employed by enlightened and educated sections.

We can eradicate child labour gradually. Our government has passed various and programmes on paper for the amelioration of their plight. However constitutional provisions and legislations alone cannot combat the menace unless supplemented by comprehensive enforcement of socio-economic programmes and educational upliftment and total change in the social psyche and attitude. It is essential to involve various voluntary organisations, and the employers themselves who depend to a large extent on the child labour force. There should be a single department or ministry in place of existing multiplicity of authority especially for children. A joint committee of Parliament can also be set up to constantly view the programmes and policies regarding child labour. Atrocities both physical and mental should be punished. And the debts of parents should not be visited on the heads of children.

The west may solve its conscience by banning carpet and match sticks because of being imported from India because of tender hands that have suffered in making them. In India, mitigation is all one can hope for but here the efforts must be sincere and steady. We can easily solve this problem by generation of public opinion, compulsory and free as well as employment oriented education, proper enforcement of laws and whole hearted commitment by the government and societal law.

Most important method which can solve the dwindling future of our generation next is the participation of children to fight for themselves- school children must join various NGO’s to work for the welfare of their brothers and sisters. Various rallies must be organised and awareness should be spread among the poor families and to induce their parents to curb it.

Funds and various necessities should be allocated to help them. Efforts should be made to remove the parental cause – poverty by providing employment and some ransom amount to poor families.

In a nutshell, we can do a lot in the opposite direction, with our tangible action to completely eradicate it. It is the responsibility of every individual not to ignore problems but contribute to action towards its reform. Everyone must take the commitment for positive action to transform the lives of our next generation. We indeed need to give a safe and sound future to our posterity.

A tragic situation in Pakistan

Posted on 4 May 2010 | 8:51 am by

The Constitution of Pakistan has told us that No Child is Employee under 14 years. The Constitution of Pakistan further said that No Children will employee in those professions who not resembling their age. The U.N.O said Childhood reserves special attention and helps.

Child health care continued to be poor and insufficient resulting in the spread of disease and high mortality rates. Pakistan's under-5 mortality rate was recorded at 99 out of every 1,000 live births - higher than that of Bangladesh. 38% of children in Pakistan were reported to be moderately or severely malnourished. Children, especially minor girls, continued to be the victims of widespread sexual and physical abuse.

At least 258 cases of rape and gang-rape and 138 deaths by killing were reported. There were 2,038 juveniles in jails in Pakistan awaiting trial. Children in the earthquake and refugee camps, as well as those in IDP camps for flood victims, were particularly vulnerable to harsh weather conditions, disease, contaminated water and lack of extensive medical attention. Child labour and trafficking remained rampant across the country. Increasing numbers of street children were also reported to have become drug addicts with almost 83% of street children between the ages of 8 and 19 reportedly sniffing glue.

A NGO reported that the 22 Million Children between the age of 5 to 14 are not going to school. In Pakistan illiteracy are increased day by day, budget which sanctioned in the head of education in not up to the mark. In 2005-2006 the ratio of admissions in schools is 56%, other than in India and Bangladesh are 78% and 86%.

Child labour is a dangerous various which increased in Pakistan. There is no doubt that during last ten years child labour has paid special attention but not controlled. A survey of 1996 (which is authenticated and acceptable even we are living in 2008-2009), Pakistan is highly victim of Child labour and 3.3 Million children’s are laboured. A NGO reported that child labour is more than 10 Million in Pakistan.

Quality Education For Slum Children

Posted on 3 April 2010 | 4:35 am by

Education being one of the most important tools in the modern world has been provided a lot of importance. Numerous schools, colleges and universities have been opened for all those children who can actually afford it, but what about the children in the slum areas. Children from deprived families and slum areas cannot even think of affording the overpriced courses that are offered by these top-class universities, but education is equally important for every child that forms the future of India. So, to overcome this complexity for the slum children, government has made several efforts with which every child would be able to learn, gain knowledge and grow well.

Education System for Slum Children

There are several children who face challenges regarding their primary education and for them reaching 100% literacy count is a difficult task. This is the reason that government schools have been opened in all the villages within every state and children are encouraged to attend the school. Various advertisements and encouragement programs are run on television and radios so that people become familiar about the fundamental rights provided by the government. As per Right of Education Act, every child between the age of six to fourteen has the fundamental right to education, which is now made compulsory by the government.

These days, there are several NGOs’ and other organizations that are supporting the education of slum children. Various campuses have also come together to contribute towards providing quality education for slum children. Every bit of contribution can help to enrich the experience of the slum children regarding learning and gaining knowledge. Many underprivileged families do not recognize the importance of education and so they keep their children away from schools. In order to encourage all such people, free education and mid day meals are being provided at government schools which not only facilitate children, but also help them in making a bright future.

Quality Education for Slum Children

For providing quality education for slum children, various influential steps have been put forward by the government of India. Various research studies are being done so as to get a clear idea about the ratio of how many children attend the school regularly and how many teachers are more focused towards providing education to the slum children. To provide quality education for slum children, these days every child is looked after properly so that he can become more competent. Previously, most of the subjects were taught in the regional languages, but now English is also made compulsory within the course.

Quality education for slum children is actually providing an opportunity to all those who are below literacy rate so that they can come up and get a breakthrough. Various government websites have been uploaded on the web which provide complete acquaintance about providing quality education for slum children, thereby making the process easier. So, feel free to surf such websites and start contributing for quality education for slum children so as to add something towards a better India.

Street Children in Chennai City

Posted on 3 April 2010 | 4:31 am by

Condition of street children

The most vulnerable are the runaway boys and girls who live on the railway station, bus station, market place, pavements, streets and do odd jobs like rag picking cup collecting, coolie, begging, cleaning the rail boogies, small hotels etc. These children live on pavements and street with sky as their shelter and no one to care for with love and affection.

The condition of street children is a sad reality that this section of the population are neglected, delinquent and are uncared for. They are a new and rapidly increasing group of vulnerable, deprived and exploited children in our cities.

Chennai NGO forum for street and working children conducted a survey on street children in 1996 with the support of UNICEF. This survey was conducted with the following objective:

To enumerate the number of children of children who were on the street in the city of chennai.
To find out the conditions of the street children in the city of Chennai

On the basis of the survey, it was estimated that the number of street children in the city of chennai would be around 75, 000. If one were to include the children bellow 6 years and the teenagers on the street, the population would be as high as 1.5 lakhs. They were covered under survey only 6 to 18 years children.

Most of them earn their livelihood doing odd jobs like picking rags, or recycling garbage, shining shoes, washing cars and the like. Their employers often exploit them sexually. In addition, most economic activities of the street children are controlled by territories, each of which is guarded fiercely by its members, who react violent if threatened . In this struggle for survival the competition is ruthless and only the fittest survive. To survive, They work for three hours a day on an average, either in the morning or in the evening, and with their earning they meet their daily expense. Whenever they need advance money for their expenses, they get from the waste paper shop owners for which they would sell their collection of waste only to that particular shop.
The waste paper shop is also their place of stay after their work. During their Leisure hours, they go for movies, regularly take drug, pills and injection and at night have sex with local CSWs at a cheaper rate. This involves the risk of acquiring AIDS and spreading it. They have homosexual habit also. The drugs they use includes brown sugar.

Family background

Most of the street children are living on the streets away from their family due to some of the following reasons, Abuse, violence, poverty, broken family, Peer group pressure, attractions on city life, dislike towards studies, frustration, orphan and others.
These street children have no one to care for them except their peer with whom they live on the streets. As they are away from home and school environment , the informal social control could only play a major role in their life in shaping the character and behaviour of these children.
The above stated variations have been affecting street children’s Self- esteem very deeply. Self esteem refers to the extent to which they expect to be accepted and valued by the adults and peers who are important to them. Even though self- esteem has been studied for more than 100 years, specialists and educators continue to debate its precise nature and development. But they generally agree that parents and other adults who are important to children play a major role in laying a solid foundation for a child’s development.

How to Help the Slumdog Street Children of India

Posted on 3 April 2010 | 4:23 am by

If you have seen the film Slum Dog Millionaire, you will be aware of the terrible poverty on the streets of Mumbai. Read on to discover the work that a UK charity is doing to help street children in India.

India is the seventh largest and second most populated country in the world with an estimated 1.1 billion people. According to the 2001 census, 78 million people are homeless in India and the country has the largest number of street children in the world.

UNICEF's estimate of 11 million street children in India is considered to be a conservative figure. The Indian Embassy has estimated that there are 314,700 street children in metros such as Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Kanpur, Bangalore and Hyderabad and around 100,000 in Delhi alone.

India has the second largest rail network in the world. Children who run away from their homes both willingly and unwillingly use the railways to travel to other destinations. The train therefore becomes the primary mode of transportation and the railway junctions become home.

Street children move between cities in trains frequently landing at major junctions. Their high mobility makes it essential to work with a multitude of voluntary organisations across states in order to have continued contact with the children and provide support.

It is for these very reasons that Railway Children set up its first project in India in 1996. Railway Children in India addresses the complexity of these problems by primarily collaborating with local voluntary organisations.


15 year old Mohan, was spotted at the Mumbai Central Terminus by an outreach worker. He was sitting alone and looked extremely tired. When the worker initiated a conversation with him, he realized that he could not speak or hear. Through sign language, he made it clear that he was hungry and wanted sleep. The worker immediately gave him food and asked him whether he wanted to go home. Mohan agreed and started walking with him. The worker decided to take him directly to the shelter where he was fed and slept throughout the next day.

The following day, when the counselor started to talk to him through sign language, Mohan showed a place called Nadiad on the map of India. He showed through actions that his father had beaten him, however, he wanted to go back to his family. He wrote his parents name on a sheet of paper but the police and the Gujarat Childline were unable to trace his family.

Every time Mohan expressed his desperation go home, his eyes welled up with tears. A decision was taken to escort him to Nadiad city in an attempt to find his family. They went to the nearby local train station where Mohan exchanged glances with a hawker. Sachin spotted this and approached the hawker. He mentioned that he had seen him in his village and was able to give directions. The moment they started heading towards that village, Mohan looked relaxed and began to smile. At the village, he guided Sachin to his house.

His parents were overwhelmed with joy to see Mohan. Sachin assisted his parents to admit Mohan to a special school.

Sachin was tired; however, when he saw the expression of Mohan's parents seeing their son after a long time, his tiredness disappeared.

To find out more about the railway children charity visit their website. http://www.railwaychildren.org.uk

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