This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Child Labour: We Keep Talking, But Never Act

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Moumita Pramanik:

I always wonder why a child needs to work. Sometimes I ponder, when the child of a middle class family goes to school for education, an 8 year old girl comes to your place to wash the dishes. But we rarely look at the issue from this angle.

Child labour, defined as minors performing a type of work which deprives them from education and acquisition of skills which diminishes their health and development is at an all time high these days with India earning the dubious distinction of having the largest number of child labourers on the planet at around 50 million, with 2 million being added every year.

They constitute a major chunk of India’s population. Girls aged 12-13 are the preferred choice of 80 per cent households works as they are naive and can be easily manipulated. Evils like child slavery, child prostitution, child trafficking, children being used by naxalites, etc are growing under the sheet or child labour. Some one million children enter the sex trade every year, exploited by people or circumstances, leading this children into a bleak and misty future.

Causes:

In India over 40% of population is under the poverty line and this is where the child labour is endemic. The unrelenting poverty forces the parents to push their young children in all forms of hazardous occupations. Child labour is a source of earning bread and butter for poor families. In some cases, a child’s income accounted for between 34 and 37 percent of the total household income for these families. Some parents being in huge debts, sold or abandoned their children to factory owners. These factory owners are in massive growth through low wages and low labour standards. And the child labour exactly fits in the brackets. (source)

Dheru is the 12-year old son of a very poor mother living in a slum in Kolkata with 3 siblings younger than himself. The single parent child works at a food stall in the College Street to meet ends. He gets Rs 20 a day after working rigorously in the roadside restaurant. I happened to ask him about his daily chore, ” … my mother works as a maid and her income is not adequate to feed us (4 children), so I work to support her. At least my lunch and dinner are being provided here. I later get the leftovers.”

There are many factors which contribute to promotion of this evil, none that we are not aware of. (click here for the problems and solutions in detail).

Banning child labour right away is not the solution. It will leave the children (and their families) craving for money for food. It could very well be a kick on the stomach of these children. Thus, making reforms to ensure that every BPL family gets a minimum wage to ensure that they are not deprived of food. Also, in Pakistan, there are NGOs that pay children to attend schools, we can have such organizations in India too.

Problems never get solved on their own. Things have to be worked out. In this problem innovative things need to be worked out. Are we ready?

The writer is a Kolkata based correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

You must be to comment.
  1. rosy

    HEY GOOD ARTICLE..!!! .BUT TO SOLVE THIS AND TO STOP THIS ,WE AND OUR GOVT. SHOULD KNOW THE CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR…. WHY THEY HAVE TO DO THIS ? ONE IS COMMON THAT IS POVERTY. IT MEANS ALL PROBLEMS OF INDIA ARE DUE TO POVERTY…BUT IT’S TRUE WE ARE JUST TALKING NOT ACTING,,.MOREOVER THE VARIOUS ACTS AND REGULATIONS REGARDING CHILD HUMAN RIGHTS ARE LACKING GOOD MANAGEMENT LIKE THE NRHM’s AND OTHER CHILD DEVELOPMENT. PROGRAMS …. WE NEED TO STRENGHTEN THEM ..

  2. avnish

    One humble request……Plzz do not use the word “government”….we know how much the govt has achieved since the very birth of india democracy.Unless each one of us atleast think of solving problems from our standards..the problems will not only persist,it will worsen..dats for sure.

  3. rosy

    i think AVNISH U ARE SAYING RIGHT.. BUT it’s us that can solve various problems,.. .But GOVERNMENT HAS TO HELP US .. I KNOW THE CONDITIONS OF NATIONAL RURAL HEALTH MISSIONS ,.. THAT HAS TO BE IMPROVED ,, WE CAN’T IMPROVE BY OURSELF,, MOREOVER ANY AMENDMENTS OF LAWS AND TERMS ARE IN HAND OF GOVERNMENT,…
    WHAT I WANT TO SAY ” WE CAN DIRECT OUR GOVT. TO POSITIVE DIRECTION IF POSSIBLE,, THAT IS REAL DEMOCRACY…….

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Aheed

By PARWAAZ

By aditi Pandey

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below