Child Labour in India (Bhopal): Cruel Cycles

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Se registró el día 2 de febrero de 2014
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Around the globe, more than 13% of children (10-14 years) are employed. India and America are the major Child Labour spots. There are over 246 million children in India and among them, 25 million are estimated to be employed. These children work for 15- 21 hours a day! This is unacceptable and wrong. Children should be made to go to school. 5- 18 is the age to learn, not earn! Most of these kids are employed in hazardous industries due to which they fall ill and in many cases, lose their lives. 23 thousand children die each year because of Child Labour.

BHOPAL: Child labourers in Bhopal are having a torrid time. Four out of every 10 children are underage and most are grossly underpaid as they are not in a position to fight for themselves.

Going by the report of a survey conducted by law students of Pune, 38% of child labourers in Bhopal are under 14 years of age. What is even more tragic is that 80% parents of these kids know well that child labour is a punishable offense and still send them for earning wages because of the poor financial condition of the family. The survey report also throws up how rampant the practice of child labour is in the capital and the horrible conditions these children work.

Of the 500 children surveyed at some 15 locations in the city, 92% were between 10 and 16 years of age, 54% were between 14-16 years of age and only 8% were between 16-18 years. Not just child labour, but the report also talks about employers of these children and how they are just looking for cheap labour and control.

Around 84% of the employers do not allow talking to others while at work and keep them on a tight rein. Children are so mortified of their employers that 52% of those surveyed do not reply when anyone talks to and even if they do talk, then 64% state their age to be above 18. The report also mentions the kind of work these children are involved in. Most are employed at tea stalls, followed by repair shops, selling newspapers and working in hotels.

Employed at
Tea stalls - 41%
Repair stores - 22%
Newspapers - 20%
Hotels - 17%

As we all know, poverty and lack of social security are the main causes of child labour. Although the Indian Government has tried abolishing child labour, this practice still continues and needs to be stopped. The kind of conditions and situations these children face are terrible. Most of these kids are so scared to disobey their masters that they are forever under their control. Many of their parents also give up on these kids for money.

One popular practice is Bonded Labour where, children are either pledged by their parents for huge sums of money, or children work to pay off inherited debts by their parents. This is a cruel cycle which we cannot allow to continue as the future of these poor children are being ruined. I'm sure many of you agree with me on this.

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