India is a land of 1.2Bn population. It is the 2nd largest populated country in the World and the 7th largest in terms of area. Hence the density of the population is really high making it literally difficult for the local/central Govt to actually keep a tab on social injustice meted out to the kids. This includes human trafficking, child labour, bonded labour, sex trafficking to name a few. Though we get to read in the daily newspapers about various incidents day in and day out, it may not even be closer to what exactly is happening in the reality.
At least a few years ago, Sivakasi, which is the crackers and matchsticks manufacturing hub of India use to employ child labourers at large. After a nationwide coverage, this has been brought under control. The employment of child labour may not have been completely eradicated but it has been brought under control.
Having said that, we cannot sit and relax since this is a recurring process. Unless there is a routine check from time to time, these incidents would again crop up like mushrooms. There are few reasons which attributes to it:
- No proper family planning
- Kids being brainwashed or made to agree to work to support the family etc.,
Though they may look like having a bright prospect considering the situation of the poor family, in the long run, their effects would be devastating since these kids may not be knowing any other work or do possess knowledge to stand on their own, especially during the time of recession or competition when the factories are forced to shut or made to work with limited workforce. There are also chances for these kids to be exploited wherein they are made to work extra hours for a very less pay since there is no regulation in this sector. The owners of these factories may connive with local leaders and officers and ensure that they are never caught. This is sad but is the reality.
Even though I am living in the Capital City of Tamilnadu-Chennai, even in the locality where I live, there is a wholesale provision store which employs kids (when I mean kids, they are less than 18 years old). Though the owner is a gentle hearted person, who never had any complaint against him for mishandling the kids, as far as my knowledge goes, we cannot take this as granted or give an excuse since he is depriving the kids, knowingly or unknowingly of their future since they had to forego education. This has to be addressed and curtailed. Government is providing free schooling, nutritious food to the kids who attend the school among others. Despite all these efforts, we still see incidents like these happening. One of the most disheartening scenarios is to see women asking for alms with just born babies in their hands, in the traffic signal.
Who will stop this?
Is there no end for these kinds of activities?
Only time will tell. Let us do our bit to address it, at least in our locality. Small action when being taken collectively across the nation by the responsible citizen will bring in the desired change, even if not immediately, in the future – FOR SURE!!
By Sarath Babu S
Sarath Babu S is an MBA and MCA Graduate and holds an honorary doctorate. He is a Melwin Jones Fellow and also Fellow of United Writers Association of India. Having worked with top notch brands, Sarath is presently pursuing his career as an independent digital marketer where he has helped 100’s of brands to leverage on social media platforms since 2012. Sarath is also one of the top books and restaurant reviewers in India.