child labor in India


The Indian labor law clearly states that children below fourteen are not allowed to work in hazardous situation. The law clearly mentions that child labor should not be encouraged and there is strict disciplinary action for flouting the same. But child labor in India is evident in rural and urban areas in varying percentages. The census indicates a constant renewed appending each year with the growth of population and geographical migration.


The main areas of child labor in India are small scale manufacturing units, shops and hotel areas, construction sites and transport. There are more uncategorized areas like helpers, sweepers or rag pickers which also contribute towards child labor. The primary cause of encouraging child labor is lack of economic status in many households. There is no family planning in the lower income groups as they believe that an addition to the family increases the scope of earning.


Children are not educated either owing to financial incapacity or lack of education system in the very remote areas. Helping parents in their occupation becomes their natural choice as they are idle and have nothing to do. This slowly sets into their routine and parents expect them to lend a helping hand. They transport items, plough the field, serve travelers and pick heavy loads not meant for their age. This slowly starts affecting their health and personality.


Child labor is also triggered as it goes unchecked owing to lack of awareness and lesser stricter application of laws. Children are paid lesser than adults and this works out well to many manufacturing units which use children to get their job done.  The legislative rules are often enforced by the government is stricter ways segregating into geographical sectors.


Government is also looking into schemes to encourage female education, night schools, free education material and offering employment to many households to keep a check on child labor. Compulsory education is another way the problem of child labor can be tackled. Another problem is early marriage of a girl child and less importance given to the girl child in terms of education.


Mini lunches or snacks are also offered in government aided schools which is showing signs of regular school attendance. Several NGO’s and social workers are working hard to convey to weaker income groups about quality life through educating their children and restricting their family to two children. The chain of poverty-education-population is difficult to tackle though not impossible for India which has witnessed several colossal changes.

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