Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Politically Incorrect Post

Child Labor
The distinguished Welfare Ministry would, of course, care to explain what happens to these children who are picked up from work. What is the alternative welfare scheme for them?

These children come from overpopulated, underfed homes where each mouth has to fend for itself or die. I see nothing happening to advise these parents against an overpopulated house.

In insisting on formal schooling of 3Rs for all children, the assumption is, that this form of schooling is appropriate education for ALL children. An assumption that is flawed at best, because this method of schooling does not teach life skills like coping with challenges, nor vocational skills that will make the students employable. Nor does this kind of schooling, by itself, guarantee employment when the child reaches employable age (14 or 18 years). In the formal schooling method, the earliest that a child can hope to be employed is 20 years, and the financial inflow to the education system is continuous and unrelenting till then. The question is, who will supply this inflow?

If the children are not allowed to work legally, and they have no money to feed themselves, what is the most rational alternative? I would think, crime, because it pays well, is easy to enter and helps fill the tummy.

Before we release advertisements on TV warning people against child labor, the honorable ministers should also go back to the sources of such labor(the families), and make a viable alternative available to them.

The minister must also, of course, indicate what they plan to do about children who genuinely prefer work to formal education. These children have a right to make a choice too.

Point of this post? To illustrate that child labor is a complicated issue with no simple one-size-fits-all solution. Period.

16 comments:

Little Lamb said...

Are the parents working of said children? If so, someone should find an alternative to crime.

RJ said...

Its very unfortunate that govt. isn't giving priority to provide alternatives to child labor. You know after I became a mom, I feel very strongly that every child (around the world) has to get the best not go thru the atrocities like child labor and other things happening in Africa. Breaks my heart. Shouldn't a child's future be priority for everyone ?

~nm said...

Totally agree with you on this. The other day I happend to watch glimpses of Boogie Woogie - a dance show on Sony TV and one team had participants who all were working somewhere as a mechanic or a packer and Javed said the same thing on air. And I clapped siting at home for him openly criticising the governments so called initiative of no child labour

rOhit said...

I have alot to write about this post. But I am running short of time. Will do it later. Most of it I simply agreed with.

P.S.- I love your blog name. Ki-jaana-main-kaun. Sexy name :)))

Cyberkitty said...

Ya true - the govt should work to better their conditions of labour and pay them the right salary for their work.

Id it is said...

A bad alternative is definitely better than a no alternative! Child labor is a complex reality, and therefore can have no simple solution, and definitely not a 'one solution fits all' as you pointed out since each reality is born out of so many diverse circumstances. The silver lining is that we are all agreed upon the one thing : that 'childhood' needs nourishment and cherishing!

The Phosgene Kid said...

Have to do something to make some cash since they broke up the kidney sales ring...

How do we know said...

hi little lamb: The parents do work, but they dont make enough to feed all the mouths at home.

Hi rj: u know what? we as parents of 1 child each feel that every child is very special. However, these are parents who bring children into the world with the idea that" the more heands there are, the more they will bring in" now think from that perspective.

Hi nm: Couldn't agree more!! Am sorry i missed that episode!

Hi Rohit: Thank you for liking the name.. i like it a lot too ;-)
and will wait for ur longer comment too.

Hi cyberkitty: CAM. Fair wages for fair work, rather than a prohibition on work.

Hi id it is: Childhood needs nourishment and cherishing. Thats so well put!!

Hi Phosgene: need to get cash for buying a kidney or bcs u cant sell one any more??

dharmabum said...

everytime as a child, i was discouraged by someone not to burn crackers coz they involved kids in making them, this was the confusion i underwent. these kids were bread winners, families survived with their contribution (though secretly it was also the inability to give up crackers!) :)

how have u been? i came to delhi again you know...and remember only on my return that HDWK was there too...

venus66 said...

Hi, you have nice blog. Very informative too. Thank you for your visit. Take care.

The Phosgene Kid said...

It is a shame that the standard of living can't be brought up to a point where children could have some time to be children, but I know it is rough in a lot of of countries. On the other hand, if a country is over populated maybe it is time to consider some sort of birth control program. It's great to have children, not so great if there isn't enough food produced in the country to feed them.

mathew said...

exactly..in fact the government is doin the easy way out..just giving a media statement doesnt make it all goody goody...unfortunately most people are satisified with just that..

(¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

either way it is a dilemma. So unfortunate. :(

The Phosgene Kid said...

'sup dude??

EXSENO said...

It is a sad thing when children must work instead of going to school and playing like a child should be able to do. child labor is a complicated issue, but apparently so are the living conditions. It is a difficult
situation for sure.

How do we know said...

Hi Phosgene: the son and i are down with cold. that's what's up. How's Mrs. Phos' leg?
To answer ur first comment: A Birth Control Program is the most urgent need in India today, imho. I see no reason why people should not be penalised for having more than 2 biological children, and i see no plausible excuse for having more than 2 children, 1 even.
If contraception is prohibited, try abstinence.
Couldn't agree more! :-)

Hi Mathew: no, most ppl are rather unsatisfied, but they have no idea what to do,other than perhaps writing these futile blog pieces.

Hi raaji: True!

Hi exseno: Yes, so it is. But one has to start somewhere, and family planning is a good starting point, imho.