During the Covid-19 crisis, the world began to view everything in reverse. So what about our children who were trafficked for child labour under the garb of false promises? Did they also fall under reverse trafficking? When everyone in the society was concerned for their family members, there were millions of families out there who didn’t know where their children were since these children had been trafficked away by unscrupulous employers claiming, ‘they will take care of them and will provide them education’.
The last few decades have witnessed many such instances of vandalism against the little kids. Children who are vulnerable are facing constant threats from the time they were trafficked to the time they are sent back to their homes without wages. Initially, the locking up of children went back to the age when they were pushed for labour by the employer to the present age when they are again locked up on account of extreme pandemic conditions.
Many children are being sent back to their families in private buses. Who is going to be held accountable in such a time when it comes to the recovery of their wages for the period they worked. Does the government or anyone of us have the record of trafficked child labourers who are gradually returning to their families on the assurance that they would get their ‘back wages’?
As per the census 2011, India has over 10 million child labourers and assumingly these 10 million children are going through adverse psychological impact as a result of their experience. How we can say that once the vaccine is found, the growth of the nation would escalate? We would be privileged to have intellectual innovators who would secure us from this pandemic. But what about those 10 million children? Will they be able to grow from where we left them?
We the society, have given them nothing apart from labels. But there hope yet, since civil society organizations and other important key stakeholders are working for the rights of these children.