CHILD LABOUR: A CURSE ON MANKIND by Soumiki Ghosh

Being a third world country and fundamentally a poor country India is a hotspot of child labour and trafficking. Majority of the girl child are trafficked for prostitution and slave rackets. Sometimes it happens as the parents sell their children willingly to some ‘dalal’. Lack of information, education and poor socio-economic conditions are the main reason for trafficking.
This shouldn’t be, but our country is not utopia. An Ideal country/ world should pursue their children; the next generation to read, to work towards the betterment of society. People hide behind the shadow of idealism and ignore the fact that our country is not made up of the metropolitans. Our country is almost 68% made up of villages and people there do not have the liberty to think like us. A little amount of money which may seem insignificant to us is the difference of food and empty stomach for them. We can rescue them again and again but to get rid of this we need to connect with them at the ground level. To make the parents understand that what happens to their children after they send them off with some stranger we need to inform and educate them. We need to take away the option altogether of selling their children by giving them a better way of income.
India needs better law and implementation of those for child protection. Child labour is prevalent in factories, construction sites and agricultural lands. The worst part being, we, the people living in luxury are blind to this. We still enjoy the fruits of child labour for our own. We create the demand thus the exploitation starts. We have become so oblivious to the outside of our four walls that we do not care unless it is happening right in front of our eyes. Reading a 9 year old girl working in sex labour makes us sympathetic towards it but the effort stops there. We know what we want to know; we remember what we want to remember. Our leaders are nearly as ignorant and indifferent as we are, but we cannot really blame them. We are the so called responsible citizens who are selfish and always turn a blind eye towards these social problems, until one of our own is affected.
How can we contribute to a solution? We should start by looking around us and changing our attitude. We can teach the people in our reach about the importance of school when we see one dropout joining the labour force. When we see an underage girl getting married, we should try and stop it by ourselves and if not possible we should inform the law enforcing authorities because it is likely that she will be trapped in a sex racket. In a poverty hit country like ours, awareness and education are the major ways to decrease child labour.

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