Interviews on child labour by Soumiki Ghosh

Interviews on Child Labour
While talking to five adults who could not finish their education, I learnt they do regret leaving education and they try to provide for their next generation to educate them.
• How old were you when you started working?
Around 14 or 15 years, to support my family financially.
• Did you attend school? Until what class?
Yes, but did not get chance to complete my education.
Until grade 7th-8th
• Why did you stop going to school or why didn’t you go to school?
No one in the area or the family studied more than that. The tradition was to join labour force as soon as were had the strength to work. Family also did not have any money to support education. There was no awareness among us about importance of education.
• How has this affected you in your life? Do you feel that by attending school, you would have had better opportunities?
This surely has affected my life. No matter how hard I work, there is a certain limit that I can reach with my little education.
Yes I think if I would have completed my education, I would have had better opportunities and better understanding of the problems I face in work.
• Do you know about or have you accessed any government schemes for those who live below the poverty line?
Yes I do know about certain government schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna and Sukanya Yojna but I cannot access them on my own as I don’t understand the process clearly, my children or my employer help me.
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬When I talked to five adults from privileged backgrounds, who have completed their education, I see awareness is there, but the enthusiasm to change anything is not common.
• Do you know about the laws around child labour?
Yes. I know it is illegal to employ a child in difficult or hazardous works below 18 years.
• Which industries are child labors most common in?
I see child labors as helpers in shops, as house helpers and as beggars.
• Do you feel that you consume products from industries that have child labour?
Yes it is possible. Factories sometimes employ child workers.
• Have you ever seen child working or begging? What have you done about it?
Yes I have seen. But I have never done anything about it.
• Have you ever seen/know people who hire children as domestic help?
Yes I have seen children working as domestic help in educated houses also.
• If a child’s family is in extreme poverty, is it okay for a child to work?
Not sure but I think their parents must understand education is the better way out even in extreme poverty.

One Reply to “Interviews on child labour by Soumiki Ghosh”

  • Good observation. Poverty combined with illiteracy let these people remain poor and consequently they are being exploited by the educated elites. This should change and will change for sure!

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