14th May 2019 10:05:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Despite a wide range of laws, policies, schemes, and programmes to tackle the problem of child labour in the country, it is an open secret and shame that it exists rampantly throughout the nook and corner of the nation. It will also be an utopian idea to believe that this scary reality will end soon and absolve the nation from a charge often defined as ‘crime against humanity’. It is a concern that continues to haunt every conscientious Indian and the same has been echoed through the Arunachal unit of Northeast Human Rights Organization’s recent representation to the state’s Chief Secretary, appealing for a full ban on child labour in the state.

As per last census of 2011, the nation had 10.1 million child labourers in the age group of 5-14, amounting to approximately 13% of total workforce which actually means 1 in every 10 worker is a child. Ten years have passed since then and if current estimates are to be believed, the projected figures, in all probability have now crossed well over 12 million. Child labour exist alarmingly and it wouldn’t be that much laborious to ‘discover’ them. Spending a few minutes in a railway station or a tea stall or an automobile garage or in the farmlands anywhere in the country would suffice. Also, if one has a knack for ‘trespassing’ deep, similar to that undertaken by sleuths, child labourers will also be found in aplenty working in many hazardous industries such as fireworks & explosives, foundries, mines etc with more than 90 % suffering from asthma and tuberculosis

The principal causes of child labour in the country are known to all and they are a mix of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and low income each with their own degrees of manifestations. And it would be quite natural in a nation which has more than 40% of its population still reeling under poverty and hunger, thereby compelling these parents to view education of their children as nothing more than luxury. Thus, where earning money to ensure daily meals is compulsory for survival, it is little wonder that child labour will flourish. Although there are no dearth of laws to discourage child labour with Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, the principal one and Right to Education Act a supplementary one. Failure to arrest child labour in a more desired way points out to the lacunae that exist in implementation mechanism of the above rules and regulations.

The blot seems still indelible and can only be erased with a revised collective action, political will and sympathy for the deprived children.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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