Before starting with the article, let’s put on some light on trivial facts.
- India has the highest number of child laborers (12.6 million) in the world.
- Out of these children, only 14% have received some sort of preliminary education.
- The government amended the Child Labor Act 1989 since October 2006, but it is mostly just on paper.
Now that we have established these facts, it becomes clearer why rescuing the little ones from the clutches of Child Labor is the need of the hour. On 12 June which is celebrated as Anti Child Labor Day, each and every one of us capable of fighting this evil should join hands together against the battle. Remember the battle is not only against Child labor, but child slavery, exploitation and trafficking also.
Here are some of the issues that you will face in the way and how to conquer these in order to defeat the evil of Child Labor at our level.
Convincing The Parents
Usually when parents send their child to work someplace, it is one of the two reasons. Either they are not aware of the free and compulsory governmental policies for the education of the children. In this case, we have to go the extra mile and make them aware about these advantages that will help in the betterment of their kid’s future. Education is the sole and most benevolent asset helpful in breaking this cycle of poverty.
Secondly, there are some folks who do not want to send their kids to school in fear of loss of extra income and time. For such irresponsible citizens, the government has launched a 1098 – 24 hour childcare helpline. The identity of the reporter is kept anonymous, and the issue is passed on to local or government NGOs. Further, no harsh steps are taken against the parents. Rather, the whole issue is solved maturely.
Convincing The Child
Let’s rewind our life for a moment and go back to our childhood days. We were least interested in going to school at that time. Not the mention the fact that we had no idea about the importance of education in our future. So how to convince these little munchkins about the same?
It is important in this case to understand that like our parents and mentors guided us at all steps to make you and me a better person, it is our turn to do the same for less privileged ones. Sending to schools with extra-curricular activities such as drawing, sports, music, etc will generate the interest of the children. For poor children, the government has launched Mid-day Meal schemes also. Free and compulsory education for children until 14 years of age is not a privilege but a right.
Let’s take a pledge this June 12 to Be responsible and Act responsible. Before educating the children, educate their parents about the child exploitation. Don’t be afraid to raise a voice against this evil, may it be in your own family or neighborhood. Remember you are answerable only to your conscience and nobody else.