Why doesn’t a large section of society care about Child labour and trafficking? by Surbhi Agarwal

Last week I connected to a few people on call and face to face.
For segment no. 1 where volunteers had to talk to those who have not received good education, I talked to maids, Gardener, employees working in Father’s shop and watchman of the colony. I recorded their thoughts as well and will try to represent both by picking up the top 5 people.

1- An uncle who runs a very basic and small grocery store.
How old were you when you started working?
To this he replied that he dropped out of school when he was in class 8 because he had no interest in studies and at that time his family conditions were not at all good so he took his way towards trying for business at the age of 15 and opened several small shops and changed his business many times.
Did you attend School? Until what class?
He has attended school upto class 8 (Hindi medium)
Why did you stop going to school aur why didn’t you go to school?
Due to 2 reasons, stressed financial condition and loss of interest in studies.
How has this affected you in your life? Do you think by attending school you would have had better opportunities?
This affects him so much, he has to take help of his son and other people to book tickets, run payment apps, and understand many things in his day to day life. Though being a grocery shop owner, it doesn’t affect his business but yes he still wants to learn English, accounts and economics in his life at this stage. It
do you know about or have access to the schemes of government wheat for people living below poverty line?
Ans- Yes, he knows about it but he doesn’t fits in the category of people living under poverty line. He uses ration card to buy monthly cereals, flour etc.

2- House maid.
How old were you when you started working?
12 years old when started to go for part time work with her mother. While her mother used to clean floor, utensils and clothes for different households, she used to do the light work like baby sitting, folding of clothes, cutting vegetables etc.
Did you attend School? Until what class?
Attended school upto class 3 only ,that also in govt school and didn’t gain any benefits.
Why did you stop going to school aur why didn’t you go to school?
She stopped going to school so that she can take care of her younger siblings and do house cource why her mother was out for work. Ongoing she started working ever house help are made like her mother and with time she became expert in it and did not ever thought about doing any other work to earn a living.
How has this affected you in your life? Do you think by attending school you would have had better opportunities?
yes she absolutely sayings that why attending a school she would have had better opportunities. But she never dreamt of any of these because from the childhood she knew the reality and knew that one day she has to drop out from the school studies.
do you know about or have access to the schemes of government wheat for people living below poverty line?
Yes she is aware about such a few schemes of government this became possible only because she remains aware about such schemes through her neighbours, people in same profession as her.

3- Labourer in Father’s shop
How old were you when you started working?
He is starting from the late stage of his childhood that is 11 to 12 years.
Did you attend School? Until what class?
Never went to school. Even his children don’t attend school but with the help of several schemes and the campaigns launched by NGOs his children get undertaker access to education. Weekend classes and some other initiatives helps his children to learn on the very little part as compared to what is taught in a government school.
Why did you stop going to school aur why didn’t you go to school?
Never went to school because the family had money to eat and live under a roof.
How has this affected you in your life? Do you think by attending school you would have had better opportunities?
Never thought about any opportunities for any situations because he ever knew what education can do. Even today he doesn’t think about it because he believes that not everyone can receive education and it’s ok but people can do nothing but hard work to improve family conditions.
do you know about or have access to the schemes of government wheat for people living below poverty line?
yes he is well aware of government schemes but find most of the schemes useless because most of the schemes are surrounded with curroption. Only 20- 30 % of people who give extra money to bureaucrats get the benefits of schemes.

4- watchman
How old were you when you started working?
From the age of 8 years he started working as helper in grocery shops.
Did you attend School? Until what class?
He attended school or even thought about attending it because at that time according to him and his family education was a luxury for them which they knew they would never be able to afford. Government schemes were there at that time also never reach to common masses therefore he never attended school and was force to work as help in grocery shop.
Why did you stop going to school aur why didn’t you go to school?
Poor economic conditions of the family e was the phone reason that he never attended School. his parents always believe that even if he will get educated up to class four or five he won’t be able to get any other job then a labourer. So the decided not to educate him and his siblings.
How has this affected you in your life? Do you think by attending school you would have had better opportunities?
He still has zeal to learn something new everyday and loves to be educated about new things and spread the same as much as he can. He knows if he would have been to school and received education he would be a teacher now because imparting education and teaching others about new things is his hidden passion and talent. Though why working in different shops and interacting with different kinds of people he always learn new things and as much as English as he could.
do you know about or have access to the schemes of government wheat for people living below poverty line?
Well aware of such schemes but most of the time is unable to use or get benefited because of the long processes and known results in most of the cases.

5- Washerman
How old were you when you started working?
Started working at a very young age because parents always believed in the child of a washerman will become the washing man only and there will be no use of education as society will accept them only as someone who who cleans dirty clothes.
Did you attend School? Until what class?
Never attended School
Why did you stop going to school aur why didn’t you go to school?
Family conditions of his family were never good enough for him to get educated.
How has this affected you in your life? Do you think by attending school you would have had better opportunities?
He sometimes things of the situations if he was educated but only and thinking everdream because he was he always believe that education was not made for him.
do you know about or have access to the schemes of government for people living below poverty line?
Unaware most of the times

For segment no. 2 where we have to check the awareness of the privileged sector of the society about child labour and trafficking. In most of the cases people apps ignorant about child labour and special trafficking and they don’t care about it and never interested in any news related to this. I felt shocked to know that people think that too they don’t have any role to play in this except that they should not employ any child. Only the government and underprivileged section of the society can bring the change in this.

Do you know about the laws around child labour?
Which industries are child labour most common in?
do you think that you consume products from the industries that involves child labour?
have you ever seen a child begging? what have you done about it?
Have you seen any family who hires child for household help?
if the child family is in extreme poverty is it ok for the child to work?

1
Knows only that hiring a child below the age of 14 years is illegal.
Industries that requires intense labour
No idea
Yes many a times. Gave some money out of sympathy
Yes it is quite common nowadays specially girls are higher to babysit the toddlers in the home
Yes

2
Mostly aware about the children related laws
Toy making industry and apparel making industry
Yes, maybe many of them are
Yes have seen children doing such work and interacted with many children to enquire about the family but in most of the cases this hard work goes in vain because it children much trained to not say anything.
Used to you see this many years ago but it is quite rare nowadays
yes until and unless their education is getting affected

3
Aware of 2-3 main laws only
Industries that makes products to be made with hand and requires a large number of workforce
Probably yes
yes I have seen this many times but never given money any of the children because he is well aware that this money can go to some illegal racquet
Hardly find any one who hires children for household help
People should plan the next generation according to what they have that their children. If we can’t provide basic education then their only ruining the life of their next generation.

4
Well aware about the long surrounding the child labour but isn’t aware about the laws surrounding the child trafficking
Industries ranging from apparels to Bangles and other fashion industries
Knows about 2 to 3 industries that definitely don’t involve child labour but isn’t aware about the opposite of it
Have seen written many places that we should not give money to daggers therefore never give money to them but also never tried to know the reason behind this and help a child
Rarely sees any such family and is happy to she just changed over here was not people are strict aware that they should not hire and let anyone hire children for work
yes but simultaneously education of children should not stop and alternative like evening School weekender School of part-time School should be introduce and burden on children should not be given. these children are not the reason for the poverty of their parent so they should not get suffered.

5
Aware about 1-2 basic laws
Not aware
Never checked
Have seen it many times but always ignored it
Doesn’t gets to see any such family nowadays because people are from where afraid that they can Bina problem or have to find heavy charge if found hiring children for work
Yes because in that case no option is there except sending kids to work.

Reflection: according to my experience in meeting people with two different classes, it was very sad to see that privileged people are not aware and mostly ignorant about the difficulties problem faced by the lower class or less privileged class. The don’t see it as a collective problem and don’t see themselves as a part of the solution and starts believing government and blaming the decision making abilities of poor families. What has been done has been done and now our mind work or responsibility is to save these children from trafficking and child labour. Definitely government has a major role to play because increase in number of population of less privileged people in India is a matter of concern. Family should be guided about family planning.
but if we will look in the present situation child labour and trafficking isn’t going to stop in few next years completely so we have to continuously make small efforts from my side which at least can reduce it to some extent. doing something is better than doing nothing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.