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In India, child labour is becoming a curse
Apart from making child labour under major offence, there is a need to provide free education with suitable stipend equivalent to their earning for their parents to prevent them to enter in labour work at the tender age.
To end  child labour in India, every year Child Labour Week is celebrated and this time in Punjab, to check the engaging of children for work, being celebrated from 9 to 15 June. During this week the teams constituted by the deputy commissioner would raid at the shops, houses and other work places but hardly it is made a regular feature.


 


Child labour remains a blot on the face our country even after 67 years of Independence. The government has failed to take appropriate steps to stop this abhorrent practice. Poverty-stricken children are used as slaves by the rich and powerful. These budding flowers hardly get a chance to bloom. They are crushed the moment they step out of the cradle. They are still used as slaves by the rich and powerful.


They are also beaten up mercilessly and even sexually abused by their ‘masters. Despite the ban on child labour, children are not only forced to work but are also meted out inhuman treatment and are severely punished for minor offence. Child labour should be discouraged at all costs.


 


Everyone witness a child working as a labour in small shops but we hardly do anything to rescue them.  Perhaps due to the fact, it is need of his family in the absence of poor means to meet day today expsenses what to say of giving primary or higher education.


 


During this campaign, the children working as labour would be rescued from the work and handed over to their parents with the help of Child Development and Protection Officer. As per the instructions, any person found engaging the child below the age of 14, could be fined upto Rs.20,000 apart from six months’ imprisonment. On checking from the Labour Department, during the last year only six cases were detected but no action was initiated because of influence of local persons.


In fact, Child labour is a world phenomenon which is considered exploitative and inhuman by much international organization. India accounts for the second highest number where child labour in the work is concerned and Africa accounts for the highest number of children employed and exploited. 


The system, poverty, illiteracy, adult unemployment is not only to be blamed rather the entire nation for every crime against a child. Throughout the world, still hundreds of millions of girls and boys are engaged in work that deprives them of quality education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Stop Child Labour emphasizes that all forms of child labour should be eliminated, to ensure formal, fulltime and quality education for all children, at least until the age of 15. The campaign starts from the principle that ‘no child should work; every child must be in school’. By doing so, we work together with our local partners in different countries across the world towards increasing and strengthening the so called Child Labour Free Zones. 


Estimated child labourers in India are six to twelve crore current with 1.2 lakh entering the market every year. In fact, at present different laws have different definition of children? The Right to Education Act and the Child Labour Prevention laws define children as those less than 14 years. Whereas the Bidi and Cigar Workers Employment and Factories Acts, Mines Act and Juvenile Justice Act define children as persons less than 18 years.


According to the survey by UNO, the child labour is found in every section of the society bugt the maximum are in India – 4.28 crore and in Punjab, itself there are about 2 lakh child working as labour in different capacities where they work from 10 to 14 hours per day and their average wages are in few hundred or thousands.Parents sacrifice their children’s education to the growing needs of their younger siblings in such families and view them as wage earners for the entire clan. Factories owners usually find loopholes and avoid the law by declaring that the child labourer is a distant family member.  


The child labour is a cause of concern especially when the negligible prosecutions and zero convictions, speaks itself of a grim picture for the future of children who have otherwise been promised free and compulsory education up to class VII under the Right to Education Act.


Frankly speaking, merely making laws to shun this menace would not suffice; something has to be done practical.  The government should take it seriously and NGOs, religions, social, political and educational institutions should also come forward to put their contributions to shun this menace. They should adopt the child working as labour to eradicate it by providing food and educational facilities.


Apart from making child labour under major offence, there is a need to provide free education with suitable stipend equivalent to their earning for their parents can prevent them to enter in labour work at the tender age.




Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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