Child Labour

Childhood is considered the most enjoyable period of life. The is period is free from any time worry or responsibility. 

This period is the formative period of life. Parents do everything to fulfill the needs of their children. 

They are brought up with the utmost care, love, and affection. But it is sad to see that the innocent have to work to earn money. This is known as child labour.

The system of child labour is also prevalent in India. It is the worst type of child exploitation. No child likes to work in the budding periods of life of his life. 

It is the poverty of their parents that forces them to do labour. Some parents cannot earn enough to feed their family members. So they compel their children to do some job and earn money.

What are the pros and cons of child labour?

Problems of Child Labour in India

The problem of child labour has become a serious problem. Children have to work in homes or shops or factories where they are paid very low wages. 

They have to do every type of dirty work without any rest or interval. Some children do not return home at night. 

They sleep at the bus stands or in the railway waiting hall or on the footpath. Even their parents have never felt worried about them.

The Indian law prevents the employment of children in factories but not in cottage industries, family households, dhabas, and restaurants, or in fields. 

Most of the children are school drop-outs. Our system of education and economic policies needs a rethinking. Children should be provided job-oriented education right from primary classes. 

Poor and illiterate parents should be made aware of the disadvantage of child labor. Population control is also very necessary.

Child Labour is in India and the world

Child labour is one of the biggest problems. It is not only prevalent in India but also a world problem. This problem is not a new problem. 

It was also present in ancient times. Children were required to do some work either at home or in the field with their parents.

The most important causes of child labor are poverty, large family, ignorance, and lack of education. 

In poor families, children have to work to support their families. The poor parents are ignorant about the value of education. 

They are concerned only with earning two square meals a day. In this job, their children have also to work. 

Thus poverty compels them to work to keep the wolf away from their doors. But in spite of child labor, the poor lead a miserable life.

Exploitation of children

Child labour is the worst type of child exploitation. The Indians look upon children as the gifts of God. But poverty snatches their childhood from them. 

Sometimes poverty forces the poor parents to take loans from the zamindars or their master. This loan is never paid by them and they become bonded laborers’. 

Sometimes they have to pawn or pledge their children to get money. Thus the vicious circle of bandha mazdoor’ goes on from one generation to the other. 

Munshi Prem Chand’s famous novel ‘Godan’ and a serial ‘Udaan’ on Colors channel beautifully present the condition of bonded labour and child labour.

The economic condition of Poor families

Economic condition is the main reason for child labour. The economically bad classes believe that more hands bring in more resources. 

Thus they go on producing children. They feel that their children will become their supporters when they are six or seven years old. 

They never think of sending them to schools. According to a report, child labour is employed mainly in 20 products. 

These products include bidis, bricks, fireworks, glass bangles, matches, and carpets, etc. Some children work in homes and tea-shops where they have to clean the utensils and do sweeping.

Indian Law for Child labour

In India, there is a law against child labour. The Indian Constitution provides that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any workplace. 

The ban on child labor has been extended to the domestic and hospitality sectors. Because of this law, child labour is almost absent in the organized sector. 

But the situation is not good in the unorganized sector. There the anti-child labor law is thrown to the winds.

We can find a great number of child laborers in the rural areas, in farms, fisheries, and cottage industries. 

In England, when the Industrial Revolution took place, child labor was required to clean the factory chimneys. 

The miserable condition of the children has been presented in William Blake’s poem ‘Chimney Sweepers’. Child labour deprives children of attending school. 

Besides, working for long hours in unhygienic conditions, and eating unhealthy food, the health of the children is adversely affected. 

However, a great benefit to employers is that child labor does not form trade unions. Besides, it is available at low wages.

So far as the exploitation of child laborers is concerned, it is a naked truth.

A Survey report about Child labour

 According to a survey, children, for the same type of work, are paid less than the adult laborers. Poverty has an intimate relationship with child labor. 

Poor families need money to survive. and children are a source of additional income. Thus poverty and lack of social security are mainly responsible for child labour and bonded labour.

In The Tribune, the Chief Editor has expressed his views on child labour. He has said, “Make employers responsible.” 

According to him, a few months ago, hundreds of children were found working as labourers in one of the farms in Punjab. 

During the Prevention of Child Labor Week, 281 children were rescued from across the state. Of these, 116 were pursuing dangerous occupations. 

It is not that the country lacks legal protection to protect children from exploitation. Their numbers continue to grow. U.S. agencies estimate that the number of child laborers in India could be between four and six million.

The law stipulates only one-year imprisonment and a maximum of Rs. 20,000 fine; In fact, a small amount of Rs.200 is a penalty in most cases. 

The government has passed a number of laws

The government has passed a number of laws such as the Child and Adolescent Labor Prohibition Act, the Right to Education Act, 2010 and implemented schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which encourage the enrollment of children in schools.

It also claims that the number of child laborers has come down from 1.25 crore (Census 2001) to the current figure of 49.6 lakh (National Sample Survey).

Not surprisingly, these figures were arrived at on the basis of a sample size of approximately 70,000 across the nation. 

The government needs to conduct a genuine survey to gauge the magnitude of the problem and make the enforcement machinery accountable. 

Unless employers are made accountable under stringent laws, child labour will continue to shame the nation.

It has become a challenging job to deal with the child labor problem. Efforts are being made to lessen some of the evils of child exploitation. 

The world has set an aim to eliminate the practice of child labour by 20

16. In fact, the problem of child labour has three faces-social, economic and political. The most important factor of the three is poverty. 

Child labour can be checked by reducing poverty in rural areas. If child labour is banned all of a sudden, it will not bear fruitful results. In many poor families, it is necessary for children to work.

To some extent, child labour contributes to development. Most of the children belong to those families where the family’s survival depends on their labor. 

A distinction must be made between forced labour and employment. Children should be allowed to work in their family-based cottage industry like pottery, poultry, or knitting and weaving. Here the children can work in their spare time after school.

Conclusion of child labour essay

On the whole, the issue is how to root out the problem of child labour from India. Besides removing poverty, vocational and technical education should be introduced from the primary stage.

 It is true that this problem cannot be eliminated overnight but in a phased manner. At least, anti-child labour law should be enforced with an iron hand and the defaulters are put behind the bars.

Self care is not selfish thing

Often times, when we do something for ourselves, it is considered selfish. Growing up it is common to be taught to take care of other people and put others first. However, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, these types of actions of neglecting yourself to put others first can have huge consequences.

Self-care can be confusing and it can make you feel like you are putting too much attention on yourself. But remember, self-care never has and never will be selfish, especially when it comes to mental health.

In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first. 

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-Care is one of the most important things that a person can do for themselves. It is not only vital for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health as well.

There are many misconceptions around self-care and what exactly it entails. However, self-care is really not that complicated. At the most basic level,

self-care is just doing good things for yourself. This could be anything from working out, to taking an hour every night to journal, anything that makes you feel good.

Self-care requires you to know and understand yourself. You are forced to listen to your body and mind, understand what resources are running low and what you have to do to replenish them. 

There are many benefits that come with performing self-care. Some of them include increased productivity, improved resistance to illnesses & better physical health are just a few. These benefits are just the beginning.  Some of the other, more personal benefits are, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge, and most importantly, you have more to give to other people.

When you are mindful about reguarily carving out time for yourself and making sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met, you will feel better in all aspects of your life.

This makes it easier for you to work with and help others in their time of need. Just like when you are on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Stigma Around Self-Care

Self-care can be hard, not only because of the stigma that surrounds it, but because it can be extremely difficult to admit that you need help or to take care of yourself when you are struggling with your own mental health.

Growing up, it is extremely common to hear that you should put others before yourself. Kids are taught that being too vain or thinking about yourself is selfish. When you take time to take care of yourself, friends and family may start to get frustrated or say that you need to spend more time thinking about others and spending time with them.

Read also: We need support, not stigma. How do we end the stigma around mental illness and start talking about it?

However, the worst stigma, is self-stigma. The voice in your head that tells you to stop focusing on yourself, saying that you don’t deserve the time or attention that you are giving yourself.

You start to think about all of the things that you are neglecting and the people who deserve your attention more. However, this self-stigma, and any outside stigma, is far from true.

By taking care of yourself you are making sure that you will be able to help and encourage others.  

How you can Take Care of Yourself 

Self-care can be difficult because of the stigma that comes with it. However, understanding how, and being able to take care of yourself is one of the strongest things that you can do.

It is also important to distinguish between the things that actually make you feel good and things that you think make you feel good, but often have the reverse effect, like drugs & alcohol, over-eating, and taking risks. 

There are many different types of self-care; the most well-known is physical self-care. When people say that they are trying to take care of themselves this is often what they mean.

Physical self-care can be helpful not only for your physical health but also to help you let off steam. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also mean dancing around the house to your favorite song, doing yoga, or going outside and going for a walk. This could also be taking a nap when you need some extra rest or giving yourself a break when you are down or unwell.

However, while physical health is important and this type of self-care can make a huge difference, it can also be harmful to your mental health if you focus on your physical self too much and too often. Working out and getting the ‘perfect’ body isn’t what self-care is all about.

It is vital to remember the other parts of yourself that need to be taken care of, make sure that you aren’t focusing on the outer-self to avoid taking care of your inner-self. 

Sensory self-care helps to calm the mind. This will help you to live in the moment, focus better, and let go of the past and forget your anxieties.

This type of self-care is all about sight, smell, touch, and sound. This could be considered sitting outside at the beach, enjoying the feeling of the water on your skin from a shower or a bath, or listening to calming music. Anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. 

CHILD LABOUR

• Pandemic – affected the Indian children
 Orphaned
 Child Labour

• Factors of Child Labour – pre existed.

• Third decade of the 21st century:
 152 million – child Labour
 73 million – hazardous work.

Statistics

• 2011 census – 10.1 million children (5-14 years) are working.
 8.1 million – rural areas
 26% – cultivators;
32.9% – agricultural labourers.

• UNESCO’s estimates
 38.1 million – out of school. • Rapid Survey on Children (2013-14)
 Less than half of children – 10-14 years have completed primary education.
Child Labour:
 long-term devastating consequences – education, skills and acquisition.
 reduce – possibilities to overcome poverty, incomplete education and poor-quality jobs.

Policy and programmatic interventions

• Contributions
 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005
 the Right to Education Act 2009
 Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

• Education and wage employment (unskilled) for rural families.

• Ratification – ILO child labour Conventions
 Convention No. 138 – Minimum Age
 Convention No. 182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour.

• Online portal – allows to share information and
to coordinate on child Labour at all levels for
effective enforcement of child Labour laws.

• Child Labour – rate of reduction slowed by two-thirds .

• Important – consider the trends while developing policy and response.

• India – slower economic growth and rising unemployment.
• Lockdowns – backtrack the efforts invested and the gains made in eliminating child Labour.

• Present – economic insecurity, lack of social
protection and reduced household income
 Children – to contribute to their family income.
 Exposed to risk and exploitative work.
 Distant learning – child drop out.

• Digital divide.
 Annual Status of Education Report, 2020 – a third of the total number of enrolled
children received learning materials

Way Forward

• Right level of commitment, policy and programmatic interventions.

• Strong alliance – ending child Labour in all its forms by 2025 as agreed to in Sustainable Development
 Goal 8.7
 Eradicate forced Labour and to end modern slavery and human trafficking.
 Secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child Labour in all its forms by the end of 2025.