Dr Banarsi Lal & Dr. Vikas TandonEvery year, 12th June is observed as the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) across the globe to create awareness about the social evil of promoting and hiring child labour. Numerous events are organized around the globe on this date to mark the World Day against Child Labour and call attention to this menace. This day focuses on the barbaric practice of child labour and to find ways to eliminate it. This day provides us an opportunity to gain support from governments, schools, civil society, youths and women groups as well as print and electronic media to eradicate the menace of child labour. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) of the United Nations recognized 2002 as the World Day Against the Child Labour. This year due to COVID-19 the celebration is done through virtual campaigns. The theme of World Day Against Child Labour 2021 is “Act now: end child labor!” 2021 has been designated as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the resulting economic and labour market have a huge impact on lives of the people. Children are also the sufferers because of pandemic. Present crisis can push millions of children into child labour. According to International Labour Organization (ILO), child labour is defined as the work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to the children and interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school and obliging them to leave school prematurely.Every child deserves a peaceful and secure childhood. Children are the future of any nation. The more educated they are, the faster the development will be. Rural India has the highest percentage of child labour, accounting to about 80 per cent. It has been observed that the poverty and lack of social security are the major causes of child labour. There are many cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of child domestic workers. We celebrate many important days like Children’s Day, Human Rights Day, Teachers Day, Literacy Day, World Environment Day and Mother’s Day and so on. We observe the rituals but actually we ignore the basic purpose of these rituals. We see many important persons accompanied by their cronies spinning the wheel on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday every year and after that we forget that great hero for the rest of year. Similarly, we celebrate the Children Day on November 14 (Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Birthday) when we see VIPs sitting along with orphans and participate in some special programmes. We observe many such anniversaries to attract the attention of others towards ourselves. Now the question arises- are we caring for children who become the responsible citizens of future?Child labour has decreased by 38 per cent in the last decade. According to reports, there are still about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, out of which India accounts for about 7.3 per cent of that number. 72 million children do hazardous work. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region where child labour is most prevalent. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours. It has also been observed that the most of poor families send their children for work. Child labour is the great evil which has been created by the parents of poor children due to poverty and lack of awareness of education.Despite the child labour is declining over the years but still the children are being used in some severe form of bonded labour, child soldiers and trafficking. Across India child labourers can be found in brick kilns, garment making, domestic service, food and refreshment services, agriculture, fisheries and mining etc. Child labour deprives children of their right to go to school. They are also exploited sexually sometimes. Our efforts to eradicate this evil have come to naught. These children are working under hazardous conditions. Their safety is the last concern. According to experts, access to primary education could alleviate the problem to a great extent. In our country, elementary education has been made as a fundamental right. There is a need to make a beginning in this direction. It depends on us as how we can make this Fundamental Right a reality. Tamil Nadu introduced the midday meal scheme as a technique to increase the enrolment of children in the schools. Now the midday meal scheme has been implemented in all over the country but we are still away from our desired targets in regard to enrolment. We are unable to provide minimum safe infrastructure and teachers to our school children. Many schools in our country are still in dilapidated condition. Many schools are lacking the staff position. Many schools don’t have proper drinking water and toilet facilitiesMany children are sexually abused throughout their life. The offenders are known to them but even then there is no one with them for their safety. They are traumatized throughout their life. We often read such types of instances in different daily publications. The children from tourist places are also sexually abused. In many places we often read about the rackets trading of children. These types of rackets promote the child prostitution. We don’t have the estimation of children who are sexually abused because their fathers are languishing in prison and their mothers are trapped in red light areas. What type of future can be expected of such children whose life suddenly halts before they begin it? Does anybody cares for them? Or they left alone to tend themselves? Some Non-Government Organizations’ (NGOs) are taking care for them and provide necessary commodities to these children. Some of NGOs set homes for these disadvantaged and deprived children. We come across child beggars and we can’t make out which one is genuine and which one is spurious. There are inter-state rackets that maim or blind children, making them objects of pity in order to get their due from people who sympathize with such people. There are plenty of laws for the beggars but they are rarely implemented. We observe the street children everywhere, in markets, railway stations and in cities. They struggle during day and night for their livelihood. Some work as rag-pickers and some are shoeshine boys. They don’t have any place to sleep and no roof to protect them from sunshine and rains. They don’t have any blanket or quilt to protect them in chilly weather. Some NGOs should be accoladed who work for them. Some states victimise the children with their strange customs.Child marriage is one of the examples which is still rampant in some parts of our country. Even our law has failed to curb this menace. It is not easy to change the attitude of a person even with a strict law. The evils like corruption, dowry, child marriage, rape, prostitution etc. still flourish in India despite law. Reforms must come from within and not from without. While child marriage is conducted in a clandestine manner in some states in the guise of mass marriage, in May 2003, Supreme Court of India issued notices to many states to prevent the child marriages. The petitioners pointed out that though poverty and illiteracy contributed to child marriages, the evil spawned far reaching consequences. A young girl is not properly physically and mentally developed due to child marriage and her joy of childhood and personality development is deprived. Many children are thrown away after birth when they are born out of wedlock. Many children are left in the cradles of fondling homes or child care centres of the State Councils of Child Welfare functioning under the Indian Council of Child Welfare. Many children are given to adoptive parents. Serious efforts are needed to eliminate the barbaric child labour. There is need to re-double collective efforts to eradicate this evil from the society.(The writers are Head, KVK Reasi and Professor SKUAST-J).
Ladakh reports 33 new Covid cases
Anti-inflammation drug may effectively treat COVID-19 complications in children: Study
Apple previews new software for iPhone, other gadgets
World No Tobacco Day : Quit smoking to lead a healthy life
Gold down Rs 123, silver falls Rs 206
Rupee inches 7 paise higher to 74.35 against US dollar in early trade
Rupee slips 4 paise to 74.44 against US dollar in early trade
President inaugurates SBI’s first branch within Rashtrapati Bhavan
Sebi consent not mandatory for compounding of offences under section 24A of Act: SC
Download 10Cric Casino app, and enjoy Indias most popular casino games, directly on your mobile!
Gamble with real money online! Play Indias favourite casino games at 7Jackpots.com, Indias most trusted online casino site.
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper | Powered by Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.