It’s ironic that despite India’s concrete efforts to become one of the giants of world economy, we are still grappling with menace of child labor. They say, charity begins at home so we must take firm steps to eradicate the humungous problem of child labor. According to social study research, the prime reason behind increasing number of underage children working as contract laborers in organized and unorganized sectors is poverty. Children are seen as bread earners for the family and that pushes poor families to make their children work in unfriendly conditions. No less than 80% child labor cases are because of parental poverty. Children are forced to work so that they can supplement the total earning of the family.

Employers often claim that it is parents who bring their kids to work so they can’t be held responsible for hiring children workers. Yes, it’s true that parents do try and get their kids job at these factories so that they can buy the essential commodities to run the family. It’s more like a vicious cycle of child labor. It also tells us that economic growth of India is not creating an all round effect. The government must ensure that the market prosperity percolate down the social order. State should focus on building factories in poverty-stricken areas so that it can generate jobs. This will be the single biggest step in eradicating child labor issues.

Lack of education is other major factor in increasing cases of child labor. Poor people can’t afford educational costs so they don’t have a choice of investing in the children education. Only with education, children can be empowered to take best decisions for themselves. Giving proper education to the children of the country should be the top priority. If children are well educated, their decisions will also bear positive effect on the fortunes of the country along with improving their quality of work. Education will allow kids to lead a dignified life.

One idea is to set up special education society where children from economically backward families are offered free education. Government should also provide other basic facilities like books, clothes, stationary, convenience etc free of cost. Charitable organizations and trusts need to come forward and help child development programs run by government.

State should formulate stringent laws against child labor. As of now law against child labor is not harsh enough and there are plenty of loopholes in it. Right from provision of life imprisonment to cancelling the industrial license of the firms where children are found working, there are several steps that government can take to completely eradicate this problem.

There is an urgent need of taking initiatives to address health and safety issues in terms of food and agriculture industry. Steps should be taken to make people aware of the consequences of child labor. Sustainable living for one and all can only be achieved when each one of us contribute our bit for the welfare of society. Indian citizens should shoulder responsibility to report cases of child labor. Only with implementation of these steps, can India claim to be the emerging superpower.

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The problem of child labor in India is so huge that it demands support and contribution from every part of society to completely eradicate this problem. In recent times, government has taken some concrete steps for improving the situations of child laborers. Providing free education, encouraging parents to send their kids to schools with awareness campaigns and allocation of funds towards child health and development etc are some of the steps taken by the state. Among the UN organizations, UNICEF has remained instrumental in initiating several steps against child labor. UNICEF has been well supported by civil society organizations and NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations). Several renowned and committed NGOs are working to improve the situation in this field. These NGOs, both local and international, focus on different problems concerning child labor. Let’s have a look at some of the top NGOs dealing with menace of child labor.

World Vision India
Lajpat Nagar-II
New Delhi – 110024
Tel: +91-11-6831168

Action Aid India
South Extension II
New Delhi – 110049
Tel: +91-11-51640571

Concerned for Working Children (CWC)
Bangalore – 560017
Tel: +91-80-5234611

Green Park Extension
New Delhi – 110016
Tel: +91-11-6163935

Global March Against Child Labour
New Delhi – 110019
Tel: +91-11-26224899

Child Relief and You (CRY)
Sane Guruji Marg
Mumbai – 400011
Tel: +91-22-23096845

CREDA (Centre for Rural Education and Development Action)
Mirzapur – 231001
Uttar Pradesh
Tel: +91-5442-62285

Tughlakabad Instnl Area
New Delhi – 110062
Tel: +91-11-29955505

CARE India
Hauz Khas Village
New Delhi – 110 016
Tel: +91-11-26564059

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road
Kolkata – 700016
West Bengal
Tel: +91-33-22452705

Salaam Baalak Trust
Paharganj Main Market
New Delhi
Tel: +91-11-23589305

Save the Children (UK)
Kailash Colony
IInd Floor
New Delhi – 110048
Tel: +91-11-26441174

We cannot undermine the huge role played by NGOs in handling child labor issues. Specific NGOs focus on certain areas of improvement. For instance, if Action Aid India concentrates on child education and on street and working children then CRY targets underprivileged children who don’t have basic resources to sustain themselves. NGOs are carrying child development activities all over India. Some children educational NGOs engage themselves in offering free education to poor kids. They teach children living in slums.

Quite a few NGOs focus on girls’ education. It has been witnessed that girls are made to work whereas the boy child is allowed to study but that needs to be changed. So community organizations seek to improve the quality of life of socially disadvantaged girls. With the help of health, education and social mobilization, NGOs are helping street children and in different parts of the country.

Some NGOs address issues related to lack of sensitivity and infrastructure for children’s rehabilitation, education, and reintegration. They provide basic services to the children, including formal and non-formal education. We should also contribute our bit to these NGOs through donation or by offering our services.

Child labor is one of the biggest problems faced by world today. According to UNICEF, a staggering number of 250 million children aged 2 to 17 are subjected to child labor worldwide. Child labor is defined by many organizations as “any kind of work for children that harms them or exploits them in some way may it be physically, mentally, morally or by depriving a child of education”. Child labor is a social menace in many parts of the world, especially developing countries. There is a widespread practice of child labor in places like agriculture, factories, mining, and quarrying etc. Thousands of children are made to work as household helps in different parts of the world. One can also find children working in hotels, cleaning establishments, tobacco-related factories and polishing shoes. This is a grave issue that needed to be countered on an urgent basis.

Children are said to be the future of a nation. But no matter, how rapidly a country is developing, if the large majority of its child population is working as bread earner for their family, it is an indication of sorry state of social equilibrium. No one has got any right to exploit children in any capacity but sadly, we keep facing such situations every now and then. In many countries, children are forced into prostitution. In countries like India, child labor has always been a huge issue. Despite formulating different laws protecting the basic rights of children, situation is far from impressive.

The practice of child labor not just devoid a child of his basic rights to live and study but also affects his future. Millions of children across the length and breadth of the country are indulged into some sort of labor practices in less than dignified conditions. They are made to work for 12-16 hours which really demands pressing attention. Such inhuman acts seriously affect the personal growth of a child. The root cause of child labor in India is poverty.

Many a times, children are forced into work by their own family. Lack of earning members pushes poor families to make their children work in appalling conditions. Insecurity and lack of resources worsens the situation. Education also plays a vital role in deepening the roots of the menace. Lower strata of the society do not have too many privileges and they are not even aware of benefits of education. That leaves them with only choice of forcing their children to work.

The laws and regulations in India concerning child labor are far from perfect. There is definitely a pressing need of concrete actions from the governments to abolish this practice. Factors like caste and gender discrimination, demand of cheap labor and superstitions etc are also responsible for widely prevalent practice of child labor in India. State needs to wake up to the growing threat of child labor else, despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, we run the risk of losing young and innocent souls. Growth and development matters only when all the basic problems are eradicated.


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Childhood is perhaps the most blessed stage in a human life. It is that phase of life where, children are not really aware of any form of worldly responsibilities, they are free from all the tensions and they can learn a whole lot of new things. No wonder, people keep having this wistful desire of going back to their childhood and relive all those beautiful memories. But there is other side to this phase and in that, many children are forced to work in inhumane conditions. This phase is also known by “child labor” where a child is full of tensions and burdens and he has to perform the tough job of being primary earning member of the family. Such children lose their innocence to satisfy the needs and wants of their family. The problem of child labor is huge and is faced by many countries in the world.

Child labor is not a recent phenomenon. Throughout human history, children have been made to work under hazardous and unhealthy conditions. In other words, child exploitation has remained an integral part of our culture and despite the advances made by us in last few centuries; we haven’t been able to eradicate this menace. Children are made to work in factories, mining, agriculture, on streets and as domestic helps. Child labor is an attack on basic rights of the children. Leave alone lack of educational opportunities to them, most of these children are malnourished and treated like animals. Child labor practices causes damage to a child’s physical and mental health apart from depriving him of his basic rights to education, development, and freedom. Unfortunately, the number of underage children working in unfavorable working conditions has kept on increasing.

India has one of the largest populations of child laborers. These children work in unsafe environments where there is a constant danger of fatal accidents. Children employed as laborers spend most of their waking hours working. They are condemned to a life of poverty, illiteracy, and prolonged misery with no end in sight. They are required to perform grueling and physically demanding tasks and in return receive only meager wages. Poor working conditions cause severe health problems to such children. A child labor not just suffers physical and mental torture but also becomes mentally and emotionally mature too fast which is never a good sign.

As children are sensitive to influences of toxics, chemicals, noise, pollution, heat and accidents, as a result of which many children develop lifelong health complications in worst cases, even lose their lives. A large number of child laborers are employed in mining, manufacturing, transportation and construction sectors where chances of fatal injuries are quite high. Because of the environmental influence, underage children suffer from permanent psychological scars. They do not possess confidence or self esteem. It is hard to imagine, how we as a country are going to prosper when a significant population of the nation suffers from such huge problems. It is not just duty of the government to take appropriate measures to rectify the situation but it is also the responsibility of the Indian citizens to contribute their bit in getting rid of barbaric practice of child labor.