Swati CA

Swati_CA column in The Hindu Business Line

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On child labour...

What to do when child labour is the means of a family's subsistence?

Sometime back, a colleague of mine had evinced interest in buying a flat in my locality and, therefore, requested me to find out details of any upcoming flats. Guilty that I hadn't given him any inputs, I set out one particularly hot afternoon, in search of construction activity. At more than one site, I was pained to find children employed to do manual tasks such as carrying bricks and sand.
In a posh locality, I noticed that a girl of about 12 years of age, dressed in tatters, was carrying a heavy burden on her head. Impulsively, I felt that I should march up to the contractor and register my protest and threaten to call the cops if the children weren't withdrawn from work. But I paused, because she was weeping. "Why?" I asked. "Mother is not well," she said, amidst sobs. "I have to buy her medicine with my coolly (wages)... " her voice trailed, because she had moved into the compound.
"Oft labouring for destiny make cruel way..." I remembered from Troilus and Cressida. Would it be right to ban child labour and deprive a family of its means of earning, I wondered, even as my bike took me aimlessly through roads, one leading to another. Send in your thoughts by Friday.



  • At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is common in north america to see young kids promoting top FAST FOOD oultlest with special offers like our kids and earn a pittance so have to find the difference ok

  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger biotechnologist2020 said…

    how come it would be good to ban childlabour when the condition is like this?are there no organization to help her family?

  • At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i agree with you ... for any measure to abolish child labor without measures to alleviate poverty will be ineffective .

  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous xazuru said…

    child labor might be have a bad impression in some country. but for some country, leaving a child at a nursery or someone else would be bad too. So it's just plain subjective...

  • At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Adolf Hitler said, "If u want to destroy any country, forget about its Military and guns, destroy, its CULTURE. it will automatically perish.
    How can u justify Child Labour, when these children are the next generation citizens of the country. They can be doctors, civil servants and leaders,if only proper guidance can be met with.
    TRUE, a lot needs to be done. Then, why don't it start with you and me!!!
    To start with
    1.Spread awareness about child labour and the movement against it.

    2.Stop employing children in your homes and businesses.

    3.Stop using products made and services rendered by child labourers.

    4.If you know someone who employs children, report them to the authorities.

    5.Volunteer your time, energy and resources towards elimination of child labour and providing education to all children.

    6.Ensure that every child around you is in school.

    7.Treat every child as if s/he is your own.


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