Children are an asset to society. The welfare of the society is closely related to the welfare of the child. India has the largest workforce of children in the world. They are made to work as slaves in fields and factories in homes and in cottage industries. They are deprived of their childhood. Children are also self-employed as shoeshine, milk boys, rag pickers and rickshaw pullers. They are overworked and underpaid. They miss the benefits of education.
The evil of child labour is the product of poverty. Poor parents compel their children to work in order to supplement the family income. Due to insufficient education the poor unfortunately have a large number of children. Poverty and population growth go hand in hand. The beggars are never worried about their large family because every child becomes an earning hand at an early age.
Children work in units making beedis or polishing vessels, or matches. Crackers, rugs, and so on. They are exploited even when they are employed as domestic helpers. Can you blame their employers? Not really. A businessman works hard not to help society, but chiefly to make a profit. In order to cut his costs he employs cheap labour, i.e. children. We cannot blame the poor also for their helplessness. It is true that the conditions in which they work is usually terrible. They inhale chemical fumes and metal dust. Soon they begin to gasp for breath.
Are you wondering why children must work and why they don’t go to school? Doesn’t the State do something to better their lot? Of course -engaging children to do a few kinds of dangerous jobs is unlawful. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 is there to check the evil. The Supreme Court judgment of December 10,1986 also addressed their problem in detail. But the factory-owners prove smarter than any law of authority. They get their goods made by children in their cottages.
In 2001. Children’s Day fell on Deepawali. November 14. It is a day when we in India consider ways to promote the rights of children. But all the plans to improve the lot of poor children exist on paper, Only there was a campaign to boycott fireworks produced by little children. School children took out processing’s also asking everybody’s to say no to crackers. But did such a boycott help the children? The answer is No. A nationwide boycott of all fire-crackers would only throw children out of job. The Diwali festivities .went on as usual. How can we really help our tiny tots? The solution lies in a check on population growth and stricter laws to save children from torture.