Every morning whenever the sun rises from the/between the mountains we wake up, we feel the freshness of the air, see the immaculacy of the small water drops and it’s glittering tenderness of the atmosphere each day. Similarly a small child also brings freshness love in our life, makes us remind & feel our soul and it’s purity and the tenderness of the nature. From very early time as a tradition and like protocol we all were always been trying to guide our children and in furtherance help them in progressing nation, and that is why it’s important that we consider them(children) as the most important human resource of our nation, and why our nation only in fact for any nation each child is the one who decide the future of there nation. Future welfare of nation it’s society is very much related to it’s welfare of the child, children are the future of the nation. Our nation is none less than the garden and children of our nation nonetheless than flowers of this garden and it’s duty of everyone to protect these flowers. Child Labour is a problem in India which also leads to socio-economic problem, which is not a new thing in India. In India children from very beginning were forced for working, to do some work either in the fields or at the home to help their parents. In the various texts available Child Labour has been defined as any work which is done by the children with their little innocence hands ultimately to help his or her family economically,now that can be either directly or it can be either indirectly, which cost their social, physical and mental development, best creation of nature is nothing but the children. But circumstances are such that they are forced to do hard labour, to earn livelihood for him/herself and his/her family at very early age, because of which their mental development stops. Largely the Child Labour is a problem associated with poor families, when children’s who are working their parents just cannot afford education because of insufficient and not stagnant source of income for their children, the one of the reason that leads to child labour, that is seen as a blot on nation in that context. It act as nothing but a disgrace that lakhs & millions of children found working in the hazardous and dangerous fields. Complication of Child related issues in India is because of factors like attitudes (traditional attitudes), lack of education, etc.
Ultimately if we look into the various reports and data it is quite next to impossible to articulate that exactly how many children all around the world are working for their daily livelihood at cost of their childhood. Though latest estimates states that on count no. of children working between the age group of 7 to 17 years old is 246 million.To which, around 177 million children, 1 in among each 8 children in the whole world are still risked to or found working in the different forms of worst child labor which sometimes cost their life too along with his or her physical and moral well care.
(A) Present Scenario
Data of UNICEF shows that and as per the census of 2011, in India working children in total are 12.6 million which only accumulates children of age group of 5-14 year which is regarded to be the largest number of working children in the world among which the major ratio of working children i.e 90% lives in village. However, NSSO survey shows there was also the decline in no.of children also NSSO data (2009-10)states that there was decline of 4.98 million in no. of children working. Ultimately Census of 2011 states that total number of children who were working and which fall within age bracket of 5-14 years, the rate has been declined which is from 12.6 million – 4.35 million. the children below age group of 14 years combines of 29% of the whole total population. Mostly in India number of children working majorly found in either the organised sector or either unorganised sectors, though we have laws for governing children working in organised sector but legislation still has to frame laws for children who are engaged in unorganised sector in both rural as well as urban areas; Mainly in rural areas, number of children would be seen working in fields like plantations , cotton and yes how we can forget for domestic household works they are also engaged there. On the other hand children who are found working in urban areas majorly seen or found engaged in work like they at houses, or shops, or restaurants, or industries, etc. Not only in the areas stated above but at some places children are too also self-employed in areas like newspaper, milk boys, and also as the one who shines are shoes, and as rag pickers too etc, more children are outside there under the age of 14 years in India who are engaged in such work which includes both hazardous and non- hazardous than entire population of the United States, really though provoking data.
When we look in to the data released by ‘Indian Census of 1991’, we found that more than 11 million children who are working in the age bracket of 14 years in our nation,out of which out of these 9 out every 10 children found working in the rural family. If we want example then India is surely the best one, to show that it is a nation suffering from the problems of child labor at very large. Data also shows that, between 13.6 to 14 million children are working in India, that is considered to be among the highest in no. when compared to any other nation in the entire world.
The Main Causes of Child Labor in India
How necessary could child labor be to families in India, if we look we would find that also in poor families in India the source of income for their family comes through child labor.There is a one study that has been done by ILO in which they observed or found that in Indian households the income of children are considered to be very essential, and that too would be in the form of either working wages or either it could be for adult household members, in short conceding children to get something by doing different economic activities. Few data also shows that if we see ratio wise then the children hold in some cases the share of income for family of 34% – 37%. So yes data clearly shows that how for poor families income from child labor is so important. The elimination of child labour can not be possible if we look into one determinant only authorities or government should also look into other determinants before digging to deep and highlighting only on one determinant responsible for child labor i.e poverty.
Prevalence of child labour in India should be seen as through the eyes of data as shown by the different authorities if our nation wants to eradicate child labor. The need of an hour is that the steps has to be taken as early as possible before more and more children start getting trapped in this hell.
Well when we came one step down to the state of royal palaces and heritages i.e Rajasthan we discovered that just Rajasthan amounts for 10% child labour of country and not just this the capital of Rajasthan itself holds for around 40,000 labourer’s as a child in the age gap bracket of 5-14 years. Rajasthan with context to child labour population in state stands at 3rd spot immediately after UP and Andhra Pradesh.One of the report shows that there is a massive growth in the Rajasthan in number of child labour,following data is relied upon 2001 census. The horrible reality of Rajasthan came into picture when few authorities found and rescued in year 2102 282 children from various different child traffickers. “Situations are worsened we have to take some major step as soon as it can be with regards to child labor before more children gets trapped to this hell”, said general secretary, Resource Institute for Human Rights. Where do we need our nation to move forward we talk about development which constitutes of different things like infrastructure,or digitization etc but why not considering the very basic thing why we are eliminating it that is child we want development but does it seems to be fine even if become developed country and still the future of our nation seems working in different organised and unorganised sectors, this is surely not what we wanted ever. And if talk about particular city that is showing or giving us worst results is non other than Jhunjunu district contributing 10.6% to child labour in Rajasthan. One quite surprising thing was that during the time of accumulation of different data available on child labour and their ratio cover by rajasthan alone we came across from state like West Bengal, Bihar etc. The children for all these above mentioned states are the one who were forced to work when we talk about western Rajasthan, and also number of children were found engaged into industry, industry of all possible types, in southern part of Rajasthan children were also found working in farming of BT Cotton. But such scrutiny with children is not just at the Jhunjunu district but at also found in major number in districts of Alwar & Bharatpur, in western rajasthan children majorly found working in firecracker industry so one could possibly know degree of risk associated with such child labourer’s. All of the above areas where children are found working, and work there for about 12 to 14 hours each day for which the salary they get is around 800 – 1800 for month. The backlog of whole this structure is departments which are engaged in to look after for such children who are working on fields for their and their family livelihood like labour departments they are lack in various basic key structure equipments, because of which they are just vulnerable govt. Bodies which are nothing more then useless instituions. NCPCR early this year came across with children working in Bhilwara at brick making areas. And that is various different initiatives were taken for protection of children from working in such areas among which one is aimed towards safeguard of children working in the cotton fields, i.e in southern Rajasthan.
Focusing particularly only on one of the region that is Surpur district of Rajasthan which is situated within the area of adivasi’s near to the Gujarat border. Data shows that migration is one of the major source for livelihood for family with low income in such areas, at least half of the the family income depends upon migration. Sources apart from what stated above i.e migration can be working in agriculture etc. Other sources of household income include agriculture. Though we are putting more light on the migration as one major sources of income but yes the actual situation may definitely varied from the data accumulated, that is why few other data also states that total of 2/3rd of household income comes from migration and not just one but more than the one member of the family is engaged in migration.
(C) Migration and It’s Cycle
So it’s necessary to understand the migration of these children it is important because one thing is to be noted that as mentioned previously that children who are engaged in the cotton agriculture have to see alternative for livelihood for their source of income for family as the cotton (BT Cotton) agriculture is seasonal and what they would do if the season of it (BT cotton) is out, what usually happen is that July-September are the months for farming of BT Cotton they they start migrating for it in the areas of Northern Gujarat or for also making of brick for houses, when the time comes closer to the month of October they again return back to home before the time of Diwali festive season. Then after this people move forward to work in brick kilns, elder member sometimes for their accompanying in work take children also with them this happen nearby the month of November which gets continued till mid of April after this time tenure child workers come back to their home and work in dhabas and hotels with some back-up work job for the entire year for livelihood.
(D) Child Labor In Rajasthan: NCPCR
It was being found that after articulating the data of several reports one major highlight was that where the number of children population as child labour were increasing on the other hand the number of dropout children from school in rajasthan was also increasing what he reason behind it we don’t know what kind of relation it is or whether there is any or not but one thing is for sure there is definitely a link between this. Above data is alarming because dropout rate is not of considerable limit, there more than 5 lakh dropout from school, really a very major are to be concerned about. NCPCR member Stuti Narain Kacker also highlighted the fact that the rate of child labour came down to half a million from 1.2 million previously and so in the rate of dropout’s.
But where there we lost hope that is there any thing regards to this is being there in the for government implementation, any action taken or not so yes there is when we see the ray of hope when we found that government started in border areas check -post to look for any kind trafficking of child in which both the state Gujarat and Rajasthan supporting the step taken on equal front. Members of the NCPCR also mentioned that in the areas like of Bhilwara major of the child Labour are not from rajasthan but from UP, and Bihar, Chhattisgarh etc.
II. Surpur: In depth analysis on child labour
(A) Child Poverty in Surpur Leads to Child Labour
Surpur, is the place in rajasthan very less number of people know this place it is in southern part of state of rajasthan, Surpur gave some disturbing results when we gone through the collected data that with respect to child poverty situations are so dreadful there along with this nothing was been done with regards to child development mentally, physically etc. Reports were very much distressing every thing regarding the children in Surpur was frightful, as mentioned earlier in this paper on one side we aim for developed nation on other side there are places like Surpur on ground level which the brutality being done by the future of our nation. Surpur needed to develop and awareness with every aspect that is being required for and healthy and memorable childhood for its place, there is nothing but lack of awareness more than health services people depend upon faith cause the government organizations are not working as it should be working, following factors were discovered for such situation of child in Surpur respectively negligence in proper parental care, malnutrition, lack of immunisation if situation are such then why one would not migrate for his or her livelihood they surely will and if such is the case then government better should implement policies here rather focussing on on border trafficking itself because there is the reason that they themself allow others to take them for work otherwise how would they survive. As many as around 30,000 – 40,000 people migrate from Surpur to Gujarat in the need of work and that is why they themself much in good working in BT Cotton fields and doing farming there, and that is why reports are true that shows the school dropout rate in Surpur is very high.
(B) Story of Hariram: Child Labour
Losing a Family
To understand this scrutiny being done with children can only be understood with true life story of what the children of such areas involved in such work are going through,one such story is of Hariram. Hariram when asked about him this his what he told about him- “I’m 14 years old my parents passed away few years before, father due to sudden illness and mother after that too passed away, therefore I left my school and home now I moves from one relative to other”.
As we can see in the family when the sole breadwinner of the family dies as in the case of Hariram family after the death of his father in such a situation it very hard for others members to sustain their livelihood and where there is small boy left in the family in most of the time have to step out to earn something for the family, and this why the children are being forced to step out of the school and leave their education in between and start working in very young age. One thing is must to be noticed that health is also one of the factor here lack of proper health care resulted in the death of Hariram father. Not all the time it happens that orphaned child is being taken to look after by relatives for their proper nurturing in some cases sometimes they are also being neglected.
III. CSSP: Endeavouring steps to Remove Childhood Poverty in Surpur
(A) CSSP Goals
In Surpur for the purpose of eradicating child labour population Child Sensitive Social Protection took some applauding steps in Surpur which aims towards:-
- To decrease the number of children dropping out from school & also decrease population of child labor
- Improvement in the Health care system for the children who are orphaned care of orphans and also other children who are in similar need of help.
- Eradicate or Extinct the rate of Malnutrition among children
(B) CSSP Survey IN SURPUR
COMPONENT 1: Protection For Children.
COMPONENT 2: Attempt in achieving and establishing link between Social Protection with Child Sensitivity.
COMPONENT 3: Coming up with Policies For children engaged in some or the other work.
COMPONENT 1: PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN.
- Bringing better mechanisms which are transparent and gives results.
- Develop better health systems (CHPP)
COMPONENT 2: ATTEMPT IN ACHIEVING AND CHILDREN LINK BETWEEN SOCIALPROTECTION WITH CHILD SENSITIVITY.
- TARGET GROUP BASED APPROACH
- Children who are not going to school or dropout’s
- Identify, aware and link to social protection
- Enhance child sensitivity of:
- Service providers
- Identify participation of children
- Children who are not nourished or malnourished
- ICDS & MTC
- Child sensitivity of:
- SCHEME BASED APPROACH
- Palanhar Yojana
- link to Palanhar Yojana
- Child Sensitivity of:
- Children skill
- child labour and and decrease in dropping out students
- care measures for children
COMPONENT 3: COMING UP WITH POLICIES FOR CHILDREN ENGAGED IN SOME OR THE OTER WORK.
- Analyze all type of policies and schemes made for children
- Make report of from the data collected from the above stated component 1 & 2
- Improvement in present available schemes by government and their proper implementation.
(C) Progress being made on Components of the CSSP Project
- Protection for Children
Talking about this component it is concerned about that whether there is any barrier to access the programmes for the social protection of children. And by focusing and aiming to make Gram Panchayat the only vessel or one-stop shop for receiving the all kinds of applications for schemes related to social protection of children. And hence that is why the local government along with members of panchayat who are elected and secretaries are capacitated with such powers. Just to systematize information more so that it becomes convenient, a system called MIS System is being developed at the panchayat level for this purpose. By the implementation of all of this above stated attempts helps to build up the better understanding of all such procedures that has been set up for the purpose of social protection for children and also to build up a environment of the well-informed local cadre that can act as bridging the gap between the one who are eligible along with respective departments. And also for the purpose of better understanding of present time existing government tools for all for ease of resorting the applications, For Ex:- Public Hearing Act.
With the help of statutory platforms at village level accountability and transparency further has been tried to enhance – which are like Gram Sabha, Ward Sabha, Gram Panchayat the meetings within this helps to provide a platform for sharing information and also for sharing of information and initiation of grievances. Because of which the participation of the community within this as been increased well in number. Which resulted with the help of this CSSP project number of people with the access to various government schemes for children with protection, has been successfully been facilitated to all.
- Linking Social Protection With Child Sensitivity
This above head/component consist of namely 2 followed approaches,- First Approach is targeting specific children/specific group of children and Second Approach focuses on selected government programmes for social protection and for enhancing of child sensitivity of children.
Child labour (Target group)
This target group approach falls under the category of First Approach as discussed above, this approach of targeted group focuses more on changing of the attitude among parents, behaviour and practice of these parents towards child labour and education, which can be done through the proper/continuous communication with the local village boys, and to conduct more and more group discussions, interactions with individuals parents and children, for that purpose small encouraging and thought provoking short films ca also be shown to these people. More and more parents should be made aware of existing and implemented schemes for them and their children so that they can avail them, schemes of all kinds like related to school and the education of the children. By making parents aware and letting them know the importance of the cost benefit advantage they have by sending there children to school. sending A cost benefit analysis of child labour against school is also used to bolster parents’ interest in education. After the few months later this target based approach seems to be on very right track as around 1062 children have been enrolled in school, really remarkable results, now the regular check up regarding the regularity of these children in school is being follow-up.
Malnourished children (Target group)
This second area in target based approach is aimed towards, in improving the proper functioning of the ICDS i.e Integrated Child Development Services, it is a scheme that focus on malnutrition. This is being enforced along with the other health workers they try to come up with malnutrition remedies which are then facilitated to the one in need, and the same is being communicated to parents and malnourished children, if required being then sent to Malnutrition Treatment Centre. Because of this early identification, regular support and on time treatment of malnourished children resulted in decrease of child health problems drastically and increased there immunity as well. Till now in total 121 children have been treated well with the help of direct intervention of these the project Regular support in capacity building of frontline staff has resulted in early identification and appropriate treatment of many malnourished children. Till date, 122 malnourished children have been treated as a direct result of the project intervention.
Palanhar Scheme can truly be regarded as best of the step taken towards the vulnerable and orphan children, aim of this scheme/Yojana is to strengthen the cash transfer programme for the caregivers of orphaned children and other vulnerable children. And not just just strengthening of the caregivers but also to strengthen the role of educational institutes, school and other institutions too responsible for the well being of the targeted children. Caregivers and children are benefited with skill-building-up package.This CSSP project worked as blessing for these malnourished and vulnerable children, it helped nearby 690 caregivers of Surpur and also the caregivers of the nearby areas like Dungarpur too by accessing the Palanhar Yojana, this shows that how continuous efforts through such schemes and Yojana at district level helped the number of children and caregivers.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
MGNREGS field assessment report shows that when there is younger sibling at home and mother is at work sites than the elder sibling of the family drops out of the school for the apporpriate care of the younger siblings. In few instances, where younger children are left at home alone for several hours, sometimes at place of work children are substituted with their parents. Therefore the CSSP teams up with few selected panchayats to make the MGNREGS scheme more Child Sensitive i.e to keep ensuring that children again do not go fall into child labour trap again and nor they skip there school with support from MGNREGS. This could be achieved by setting up the local norms that has been developed the community. Also future prospects to this is with regards to collaborating with the district administration for child care services as part of ICDS i.e Integrated Child Development Services.
- Influencing Government Social Protection Policy And Programmes
This component focuses more upon the experiences of field and from those field data trying to articulate the drawback and make more effective programmes for social protection for children. Me and my team works very closely with the district administration, which has appreciated the research as a credible strategy for improving access to and impact of social protection. The district government has also sought support from us (our research team) in obtaining information, monitoring of various schemes.
- Spreading Awareness among Community
So here is the one another story of a girl and her family and how she was benefited from the schemes and Yojana that we have discussed above. So the girl name is Kimmat Kalasua she is a tribal girl, she lives in village Buela near Dungarpur, gram panchayat in Surpur district. She told that her father Kalu Kalasua is about 52 years old and use to work as a labourer in Gujarat. She also have one elder brother who is of age of 22 years old, and accompanies for work to his father, while her mother she stay in the village. Kimmat told that she is very brilliant student and also very much interest towards studying but she is pressurized to leave the school to take care of ailing mother. And therefore when she was in 3rd grade, she left her school but anyhow she managed her interest of her towards learning. She is known among her friends as passionate reader,after she left the school after 2 years later to that her friends shared the Kimmat story with Sarpanch. The Sarpanch immediately contacted my uncle, working for an NGO, without wasting time my uncle approached panchayat members along with members of CSSP Project, along with the Sarpanch and other understand the importance of what the team was discussing about education and despite the continued persuasion were not agreeing to send Kimmat to school. Panchayat members along with the sarpanch agreed to take a strict stand to deal with this matter of Kimmat. After a few days a letter was sent through the gram panchayat on behalf of Panchayat members and CSSP Project members explaining that education is a legal right of all children, hence not sending Kimmat to school can result in strict action towards her family through the panchayat and even through judicial action. After receiving this letter, Kimmat parents went to meet the Sarpanch and other members of the field project to share their willingness to educate their daughter Kimmat.
IV. Motivated Parents who send their Children back to School
Gauri, a widow who is living along with her 4 children. After the demise of her husband naming Mohan, so after the death of her husband she started working for longer hours obviously to manage her family. As there was no caretaker available so asked her eldest daughter naming Sushma who was studying in class 7th standard but then dropped out to take of her younger brother In the absence of another caretaker, she made her eldest daughter Vimla, who was studying in class 7, drop out of school to care for her younger brother. As my uncle from far most relation identified the family and with the help district collectorate facilitated access to Palanhar Yojana for Gauri’s other two daughters, Krishna and Kareena, who were in class 3 and 6 respectively. Once the funding was initiated, Gauri received quite a decent amount of money as her income. The field staff again visited Gauri and motivated her to send Sushma back to school so that she too could benefit from the Palanhar scheme. Gauri finally gave her consent and enrolled Sushma in school again for her education. Presently, Gauri receives Rs 3,000 per month under the Palanhar Yojana for all of her children and all girls now regularly attending the school.
If we really want to stop child labor from it’s very root or eradicate vulnerability of children totally it becomes so much important to spread awareness of the issue to the larger population, children who go for work there parents must be counseled they must be informed of impact and related consequences that comes up with the child labor. When it comes to awareness NGOs play a very vital role in that, best possible alternatives must be found out to supplement income of the family that need to be provided. It should be the responsibility of the employer they should be sensitized and not employ children in factories, restaurants or else any place where they are employed. And also as a citizen it should be the duty of every citizen to report any such incidence related to child labour to the police or to inform on prescribed govt helpline number i.e 1098 which is of Childline India Foundation, in order to provide nationwide helpline number for distress children, along with this all laws made for prohibition of child labor should be strictly implemented.
To combat child labor great person and Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in 1980 also took step in the form of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood movement). It was nation wide movement campaigning for the children rights. Main focus of it on totally eradicate the existence of bonded labor, trafficking of child and child labor, and highlighted or gave importance more to children’s education(Right To Education). Till now, until this date more than 87,000 children are freed from this scrutiny with children and helped in rehabilitation and their education along with re-integration of children.
By mere bringing up of legislation’s different acts for combating child labour is not enough, govt need s to understand every possible aspect related to this issue for instance though the law states that children below the age of 14 should be prohibited from working at any type of employment but what if that particular child labor is the sole earner of that family in such stopping such a child from working would surely have the counter effect on the that child and then how would he survive. Therefore the focus should not just be on depleting the number of child labour in nation but to also to bring some policies and Yojana so that those children who are sole earner don,t have to leave their education and that their family have proper source of income. If we discuss in depth the components like education, poverty and source of income is somewhere are greatly linked to each other poverty being central highlight give rise all other issues like dropping out of school because of death of elder and sole earner of the family so the one step out of school education to make some livelihood for him/herself or for his family. Now in such cases it becomes more important for government to better make policies different types of Yojana by ensure minimum income for such family and children for the livelihood or if such policies and schemes are there than the proper implementation of the same should be exercised rather just going with thought only that is total child labour eradication that is something we want but how the action regarding this issue must be taken it must have to be thought upon clearly other wise whatever act or law we’ll come up with is going to rather than combating the such issue would become burden on the government and law makers. If we achieve such small neglected parameters and start there better implementation then there is no as such issue that can be tackled with respect this particular issue of child labour and also such similar issues. And more and more Field work projects like CSSP should be brought up at maximum regions and states so that issues like same of Surpur district can come to the light and the childhood of many more children can saved, by nurturing them, by giving them there childhood back to which they have there right for, to study or to dream big, such assessments from different would too would make authorities alarmed with the regular data received from time to time because of which proper action would be taken regularly in form of the act, policies, schemes etc. Children are the the best human resource or asset for any nation. Each child have the right to get best opportunities to fulfill his/her dreams to nurture himself and have access to recreation and education. After all, a child always meant to only learn, and not earn.
- International Labour Organisation. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- National Commission Protection for Child Rights. (2008).
- Abolition of Child Labour and Making Education a Reality for Every Child as a Right.
- Gayatri Seva Sansthan, Unnati Sansthan, Kaivalya Education Foundation,Gandhi Manav Kalyan Sansthan, Mahan Seva Sansthan, PEDO
 Govt. Of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Annual Report 2014-15 p.86
 Replying to questions in Rajya Sabha on child labour on JULY 9, 2014, Labour and employment minister Vishnu Deo said that “total number of working children in the country has declined from 1.26 crore as per the census 2011 to 43.53 lakh as per Census 2011 which shows 65 % reduction,”
 Ministry of Labour and employment , Child Labour Division. Revised NCLP Guidelines.
 Human Rights Watch 1996, 122
 ILO, Bureau of Statistics report.
 “Children in India-2012” released by Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
 National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
 As mentioned in report of DRMU
 Gram Panchayat is a local self-government institution at the village or small town in India and has a Sarpanch as its elected head.
 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGAS)is a programme which aims at providing minimum employment of 100 days in a year through manual work for rural households population.
 See footnote number 5 on ICDS