Child labour is a vicious disease that targets the basic rights of children. Child labour also leads to an unskilled workforce, financial insecurity and also lowers the standards of living and poverty.
“Poverty is the worst form of violence”, as said by Mahatma Gandhi. He is popularly known as the Father of the Nation ( India). No doubt, poverty is dreadful violence but something associated with it which makes it worse is Child Labour. India is ranked among the top 5 countries that are highly indulged in the swamp of Child labour.
What is Child labour?
Child labour is the practice of engaging children of below 14 years to any type of economic activity either part time or full time. According to the rules and regulation, no child would engage in any economic activity except he or she helping her family during vacations or after the schools hours.
As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, a child is defined as any person below the age of 14, and the act prohibits the employment of a Child including domestic work.
Child labour is a criminal offence in India. As per the law, the children above 14 to 18 years are termed as the adolescent and the law allows them to be employed except hazardous work which includes mining, manufacturing of explosives and inflammable substances. Violation of this rule results in a high amount of penalties and also imprisonment in certain states. According to reports and studies, more than 3.1 crore children contribute to India’s workforce, which makes it the highest in the world.
As the law says, at daytime, the children are not allowed to work for more than 6 hours which includes a break of one hour after the interval of 3 hours whereas at night work and overtime is prohibited. In spite of having Acts, rules and regulations, child labour still is a curse and is spreading every day, every hour and every passing minute.
What are the factors of Child Labour in India?
In India, there is a parallel economy where the rich get richer and the poor become poorer. Poverty also plays an important role in the uprise of child labour in India. 70% of the child labour ratio is from rural areas, where children did not get a primary education and to satisfy their hunger they start working under a cheap rate or no wage at all. Poverty is the main reason behind this as the child’s parents can not afford education due to poverty. So the children start working at a very tender age.
Child labour in India.
Even after stating the hours of work by the government, many children work for the entire time each day which affects their physical and mental health, their education and intellectual development.
Official figures indicate that there are over 1.2 crore child workers in India, but many NGO’s claims that the real number of child labour in India is up to 6 crores. Various campaigns against child labour confirm that India has more than 1.26 crores of child labour of which Uttar Pradesh alone holds 19 Lakhs whereas Delhi follows with 10 Lakhs.
There are many other states leading in child labour in India namely Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Mainly, the children are forced to work at a very low and cheap wage rate.
Some of the areas where child labour is highly noticeable are listed below:
• Agriculture in rural areas.
• Hazardous factories and establishments.
• Small workshops.
• On the streets.
• Domestic work.
• Manufacturing of cigarettes and bidis (21%
child labour of India).
• Construction sites and works. (17% child labour of
• Spinning and Hazardous industries (11% child
labour of India).
• and Domestic works (more than 15% of child
Laws, Act and against Child labor in India.
As per, the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986 which was amended in 2016, states that Child labour is a criminal offence. Any person if proven guilty of child labour will be imposed a fine of Rs 20,000-50,000 or 6 months to 2 years of imprisonment and if a person repeats child labour he or she would attract the imprisonment from 1 year to 3 years, as the act says. All this punishment and penalties are for the person who indulges children’s into work. In the case of adolescents, the employer can be fined from Rs. 20,000-50,000 or imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years or both. However, many cases are found where parents push their children to work at a very early age. In such a case, parents can also be penalized up to Rs 10,000.
Remedy and relief for child labour.
Thanks to hundreds of NGO’s and government schemes, whose efforts have led to a huge decline in the ratio of child labour in India for the last two decades.
The highest decline is observed in Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu where child labour in India is decreased by 97% and 96%, respectively. Uttar Pradesh also saw a decrease in child labour of 7.9% since 2001. Such a decrease of child labour in India indicates that the schemes given by government and the work done by the NGO’s have proven to be effective. Though there are many other reasons like social awareness and economic growth which also contribute to uprooting child labour from India.
All the quote images on child labour belong to poetry by dead.
Irrespective of gender, caste and religion every child deserves to be in a classroom instead of working in factories and on streets. There should be no rhyme or reason for child labour in India.