Practise what you preach.

no picture Abhinav_GEMConnect_Chennai_India
Member since January 31, 2014
  • 1 Post

Each of us has gone through the stage in our lives where we are bound by our liking and not by our responsibilities. We unhesitantly do things because we want to, not by need or necessity. Throwing tantrums for getting the newest of the candies and the hardest of the choices to choose the best one. Our childhood seems to be something that is unforgettable. But, is it really the same for each one of us? In this 21st century, aren’t some of us still victims of discrimination based on caste, religion, colour, sex etcetera? Aren’t we still witnessing helpless families bounded by poverty who seldom sell their children and sometimes even send them to work giving them the name tags of ‘child laborers?'

It is frustrating to see the extent to which child labour is still being practiced in various countries. The Bt(Bacillus thuringeinsis) cotton field in Gujarat is one of the many places where child labour is extensively seen. Poverty forces parents to send their children to work in these fields. Children here are trafficked from various districts of Rajasthan with promises of a regular income to their families. Over 220,000 children under the age of 18 were employed in the year 2009 including 125,000 in the age group of 15-18 and 95,000 children below 14 years of age. Bt Cotton doesn't grow more that 2-3 feet which makes it perfect for children to be able to work. Their height, nimbleness of fingers, scope for being exploited and low wages make them preferred labourers for Bt fields. Health problems are something that is inevitable due to the toxic pesticides produced by these cotton seed productions. They also become victims to various respiratory and skin diseases. The government of Rajasthan and UNICEF along with NGO’s has taken many steps to raise awareness and improve the quality of education, improving child protection centers and providing social protection schemes. Yet, child labour is something that continues to be practiced in various parts of the country.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), if child labour will be banned and all children receive a proper education, the world’s total income will be raised by nearly 22% over 20 years, which accounts for more than $4 trillion. We talk about sustaining resources for future use, but are we forgetting that the children of the country are the resources with maximum potential? All of it has been said and done. The constitution of India and various other countries clearly prohibit anything involving child labour. Now all there is left is to take a step forward and actually implement it.

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