Picture courtesy GMB Akash.
Heres a set of very compelling pictures a friend sent me
I get worked up sometimes when I feel helpless about certain issues feel strongly about. Child labor is one of those. But really, we can make a difference, even if it is just one person we can reach. We decided to get some current situation updates and had this discussion with a bunch of friends in India. According to them, most industrial places now do not have child laborers because of the stringent laws and fines. This is good to hear.. but i am sure there are small scale places which still employ children and what about domestic help?
For example, another friends family recently replaced their domestic help by a 11-12 year old girl. Reasons for getting that young a girl
- Cheaper labor (she is taking home 1/5 th price of 17-18 yr old)
- young children are more honest, dont necessarily steal and dont keep switching jobs.
Of course that was enough to get me to figure out ways to convince them that it is not the right thing. But then the discussion came up with some more points
- They are also giving her a better place to live, better clothes, better manners, teaching her household work, a little bit of math etc
- She is anyway going to work some place or the other, plus as she gets older it gets more unsafe for her to just work anywhere.
- They got the older girl (previous domestic help) married into a good family, to a man with a stable job. if she was anywhere else, she might have been married off earlier to anyone because her family was always in need of money!
Though, I would have wanted them to also send her to school, but the argument remains that when will she work if she goes to school. I am sure there could be options of a few days a week school, but we were in general losing the argument. She sure is getting a safer home!
What would you do, if faced with a similar situation?