It’s ironic that despite India’s concrete efforts to become one of the giants of world economy, we are still grappling with menace of child labor. They say, charity begins at home so we must take firm steps to eradicate the humungous problem of child labor. According to social study research, the prime reason behind increasing number of underage children working as contract laborers in organized and unorganized sectors is poverty. Children are seen as bread earners for the family and that pushes poor families to make their children work in unfriendly conditions. No less than 80% child labor cases are because of parental poverty. Children are forced to work so that they can supplement the total earning of the family.
Employers often claim that it is parents who bring their kids to work so they can’t be held responsible for hiring children workers. Yes, it’s true that parents do try and get their kids job at these factories so that they can buy the essential commodities to run the family. It’s more like a vicious cycle of child labor. It also tells us that economic growth of India is not creating an all round effect. The government must ensure that the market prosperity percolate down the social order. State should focus on building factories in poverty-stricken areas so that it can generate jobs. This will be the single biggest step in eradicating child labor issues.
Lack of education is other major factor in increasing cases of child labor. Poor people can’t afford educational costs so they don’t have a choice of investing in the children education. Only with education, children can be empowered to take best decisions for themselves. Giving proper education to the children of the country should be the top priority. If children are well educated, their decisions will also bear positive effect on the fortunes of the country along with improving their quality of work. Education will allow kids to lead a dignified life.
One idea is to set up special education society where children from economically backward families are offered free education. Government should also provide other basic facilities like books, clothes, stationary, convenience etc free of cost. Charitable organizations and trusts need to come forward and help child development programs run by government.
State should formulate stringent laws against child labor. As of now law against child labor is not harsh enough and there are plenty of loopholes in it. Right from provision of life imprisonment to cancelling the industrial license of the firms where children are found working, there are several steps that government can take to completely eradicate this problem.
There is an urgent need of taking initiatives to address health and safety issues in terms of food and agriculture industry. Steps should be taken to make people aware of the consequences of child labor. Sustainable living for one and all can only be achieved when each one of us contribute our bit for the welfare of society. Indian citizens should shoulder responsibility to report cases of child labor. Only with implementation of these steps, can India claim to be the emerging superpower.
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