Child Labour In India

“Several creations by man may be sacrificed but not a single beauty created by God should be even think of.”

Children are the best gift of God and their purity and carefree life is the essence of childhood. Every child has the right to go through the phases of real-life step by step which would mean that all children should have the right to go to school and prepare themselves for a better future. No child should be engaged for the work in an industry or any place that would destroy their special phase of life which is childhood.

Child labour is defined as ‘where children work for money either full time or part time’. Such practice adversely affects the mental and physical development of a child. Child labour has been one of the major concerns in India. The ratio of it has kept on increasing every year and thus have become a great social problem as these kids are the future of our country.

For every problem there is a cause of it and for this serious problem there are several reasons that stimulate the promotion of such disgraceful act. We all are well aware about the first cause which is poverty. Poverty is the main cause of children getting involved in work as their families are unable to send them to school or even cannot afford proper food and so they are left with no other option rather than to work for living. There is another major cause of it which is debts. Illiterate and poor people often borrow money from the rich moneylenders at times of emergency and later due to their illiteracy they are unable to repay it. This situation leads the children of such families to get involved in child labour for the sake of repaying their debts.

Child labour being such a serious problem in India there has been several enactments to stop such kind of practise and to protect the rights of children. Rights to children are granted in the constitution of our country which has several articles that gives them the right to free compulsory elementary education or no child below 14 to be engaged in any hazardous work or certain opportunities to be given them. India in its effort towards eliminating child labour enacted certain major acts such as the apprentices Act, The Child Labour Act, The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

Despite of so many enactments India still remained at a higher position when talking about child labour. The main reason for such is that the children are having no other option than to work for money. If they don’t work what are they going to eat and if they don’t eat, they will die. So, for their survival they have to work anywhere that gives them the money. All this leads to illiteracy and no employment that ultimately destroys the future of our nation. These kids are the only hope for the development of our country and if they are only not educated then who will be making our nation proud.

All this gives rise to the question that why child labour is still prevailing in India if there has been so many efforts?

The answer to this question is probably that there is lack of implementations of child laws. I would not say that there has been no implementation of child laws but whatever had been implemented it had not been done properly. Laws are merely just on paper but what about their genuine effect and serious punishment for the same. If there is no action why would anybody follow it. Since politicians and other authorities ignore it and the various departments for the labour laws fails to implement the laws properly there had been no improvement on this subject in India. Since the laws remain merely on the paper so there is lack of control of population and unemployment in our country and politicians don’t want to tackle this as they have a fear that they might lose their vote banks which is clearly a selfish act. The only solution for this problem is in the hands of the government. They should focus more on eliminating poverty and promoting employment or they should start certain educational programmes for children or they should provide funds to the families suffering from poverty or they should hold awareness campaigns regarding importance of education and ill effects of child labour and the violator of the children labour laws should be strictly punished. This is the only possible way that our country would be free from this ill practise and obviously the citizens of India should be supportive in the particular aspect.

This article is authored by Neha Kumari, student of B.Sc LL.B at New Law College, Pune

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