By Yumna Jamal
Child labour is the employment in work, of children below the age of 14 in hazardous conditions, which threatens their very existence and adversely impacts their growth and development. In short,it is a curse which deprives children of a carefree childhood. India has a large population of child labour employed basically in unorganized sector.
Child labour is one of the serious problems confronting India. Being the second most populous country in the world, it is a peculiar feature of India. It is not only the problem of our country, many developing countries have the social problem .
When one thinks about the possible causes or what triggers a child to work in hazardous condition at the age of going to school, many things comes up. First and foremost is poverty. A child becomes a labour only to augment the meagre income of his family by compromising with his own childhood. Another factor which is responsible for it is the need on the part of the production firms to reduce the production cost by employing children and paying them almost negligible amount of money. One can find children working not only in factories, but are also present in the form of domestic aide in many households of the country.
The menace of child labour has to be eradicated from the society. In this regard, government must play an active role by ensuring that all children should get access to school. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of the Union Government is a step in this direction. Government enacted the law against child labour which prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, restaurants etc.
However, proper implementation of the laws made by the government is needed. Government must take steps to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country by bringing in welfare measures particularly meant for rural regions because the exodus of labour comes from there. Society too has to be proactive to stop it . Awareness among people and intervention by NGOs is required so as to check the child labour. It is only after eradicating the child labour that India can boast of ushering socio-economic development.