They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home(if they have any) to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was shed, while the poodle dogs were loved and caressed and carried to the seashore.
It’s been more than a decade now, when June 12 was declared ‘World Day against Child labour’ But you see, child labour laws are still being blatantly violated.
None of you will disagree if I say, We are all the children of God, restricted and separated with the hollow human built religious, societal and ethical code. But do the child in us differs? No!
We all must be thankful to the almighty God for providing us the basic needs we all possess today. Now mine saying and quoting ‘We’ and ‘They’ seems to be unworthy and differentiating. But what’s that turned the very classification into ‘We’ and ‘They’?
Yes! ‘They’, the poor, needy, impoverished, pitiable children who struggle day and night, tolerating harassment and barely getting something to eat, something to wear, a proper shelter. Yeah! Deprived of basic human fundamental needs. Deprived of education and all the necessary ingredients every child needs and should really get.
The poor small hands, the scars, scaly, coarse dry skin covered with dust and dirt, the innocent eyes desiring mercy, the pale lean body and the zigzag falling steps.
What went vary along their life that ‘They’ are ill fated and lack fortune?
While my way to college, I come across a number of children of tender age gripped by slavery. The very age of education and free-spirited mind is webbed at the hands of people who encase these children into labor for their own personal gains. And in return what these children face is harassment and barely something to eat and wear.
Buildings are built on big big hands. Work is done by tiny tiny hands.
“What is the price you’re paid for selling these flowers”, I asked a child selling flowers on a metro station.
“Cost of one flower on selling thirty flowers each day”, he said.
Cost of one flower! i.e. Rupees 10 on an earning of Rupees 300 per day and hardly something to eat.
Sometimes I myself handover my food to them or make them something to eat from a nearby shop. And I feel so contended, seeing a happy emotion setting on their face.
Child labour is frequently encountered in brick manufacturing units, factories, restaurants. Lack of education and nourishment invite them in engaging in illicit works.
Friends, what is our contribution in uprooting this havoc of child labour that is hollowing the lives of innocent pitiable children at the hands of slaver?
Does celebrating a day worldwide and tagging it as ‘world Day against Child labour’ would be quite adequate? No! This growing catastrophe of child labour won’t cease if we rely on the government to frame and enact some policies. We ourselves will have to raise a hand to help the children gripped by slavery to come out of the web they are trapped in.
We can atleast help the concerned NGOs and associated agencies by bringing this critical situation to light. Cannot we support and help the poor children to sort out the trouble they’re facing and find out if something or someone is torturing them? Cannot we skip our ‘not so important’ need expenses and contribute the same for them?
Friends, we might not be so rich that we could afford to contribute financially for the welfare of the poor and the needy but we can atleast contribute a bit in the upliftment of the people who are really in need of our help.
And the day we kick in our part for the same, that will be the day when celebrating ‘World’s day against Child labour’ will get a meaning in real sense. And this is the need of the hour.
Though it’s a difficult process, but I hope things get better.
Millions of children are victims of violence and exploitation. They are physically and emotionally vulnerable and they can be scarred for life by mental or emotional abuse. That is why children should always have the first claim on our attention and resources. They must be at the heart of our thinking on challenges we are addressing on a daily basis. We know what to do, and we know how to do it. The means are at hand, it is up to us to seize the opportunity and build a world that is fit for children.
Education is their birth right, so against Child labour we must fight.
Give your girl child pencil, but not to wash utensils .