12 June : Child Labour – a stigma at India’s face

Your eyes aiming at living in a developed country ? Forget it for now.
The World Bank has recently dropped the use of developing nation tag for India in its specialized reports and instead classified it as a “lower-middle-income” economy in South Asia. 

Reasons are many from unemployment to education but today let’s talk about the consequences of such problems. Most impact is on our future generation i.e. the children.
Why we are discussing them today ? Because this day is dedicated to World day against Child Labour since 2002.
Child Labour is a serious problem in India and it continues to be even today.

- Latest child labour survey in 2011 says that 1.68% of 5-14 years children were engaged in child labour.
- 1.68% equals to 4.35 million of children out of 259.64 million people with age group 5-14 years in India.
- UNICEF estimated that India may be the country with the highest number of child labourers in the world.
- Around 60% of Child labour in India is engaged in agricultural works.
- Even with the presence of crime and strict child labour acts, 1% ( 1,20,000 children ) of total child workers are engaged in hazardous jobs.
- Of the child labour force, 86% do not receive any education. 

After independence, number of rules and acts have been passed to stop acts of child labour in India at Industrial, Domestic and Individual level.
Article 24: Part of this Article clearly suggests that fundamental rights of citizens must incorporate and prohibit any acts that indulge paid/unpaid means of employing of citizens below the age of 14. In addition to this, to encourage primary education Article 21-A and Article 45 state that proper infrastructure for compulsary and free education to all children below 14 must be developed by 1960.

India has a federal structure and thus both state and central governments can act legally in their own domains, where smaller domains must act on those in higher hierarchy.

यूं तो साल में अनेक दिन खास होते हैं। कभी व्रत-त्योहार तो कभी जन्मदिन या सालगिरह। कुछ दिन अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर भी मनाए जाते हैं। ऐसा ही एक दिन है आज… लेकिन समझ पाना मुश्किल है कि इस दिन को क्यों मनाया जाता है। या यूं कहें कि इस दिन को क्यों याद किया जाता है, वो भी साल में एक बार।

आज World Day Against Child Labour है। इस दिन को बाल मज़दूरी के खिलाफ जागरूकता फैलाने के लिए दुनिया भर में मनाया जाता है। दुनिया भर में 21 करोड़ 50 लाख बच्चे आज भी बाल मज़दूरी करने के लिए मजबूर हैं। भारत में हर 11 बच्चों में से एक बच्चा बाल मज़दूर है, और भारत के 80 फीसदी बाल मज़दूर ग्रामीण इलाक़ों में हैं। आंकड़ों का अध्ययन करने पर पता चलता है कि भारत से बाल मज़दूरी को जड़ से खत्म होने में अभी 100 साल लग जाएंगे।