Akanksha Mategaonkar

A Brutal Crime against the future of our own country

Recently in my school, we have been working on the ISA project with our partner school in UK. For this, the teachers have been giving us projects and speeches to prepare on Child Labour. This project has been an eye opener for me, as I came to know more about this serious issue faced by our nation. 
I personally feel that child labour is the most horrible crime one can commit. Young Children are made to work day and night for a meal a day. This mostly happens because the father in the family becomes jobless and hence the child is made to drop out from school and is made to work elsewhere to increase the economic status of the family. Poverty is the root cause for all this. Children are very innocent and delicate. They can be fooled easily and hence rich and wealthy people take them away for years and years telling them that they will be getting gifts and goodies. They do not understand what they are put into; they just have to do it so that the family survives. We always say that children are the apple of each ones eyes. But what kind of apple of our eyes are we making them? By making them work? I feel that this is very wrong.Their lives and their childhoods are put at stake just to fulfill the needs of some greedy people who make them work. India is home to 12.6 million child labourers. Out of these, 120,000 are indulged in hazardous work. 20% of the country is indulged in child labour. 
          There is  however one question that arises in my mind through all this- if the economic status of our nation rises, won’t the amount of child labour decrease?
           It probably could. The economy will rise if more and more people get educated and get employed. They will get to know about the right and wrong things happening around. Hence children will start getting educated. It will indeed be a great change. Even the government is taking efforts towards solving this problem. It has introduced RTE- Right To Education. RTE makes it compulsory for all children to get free primary and secondary education till the age of 14. Hence, there was one more law brought in- No child should be allowed to work below the age of 14. Despite all these rules, there are still some backward thinking people who make children work vigorously. There are a lot of NGOs also working against child labour. Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Talaash Association and many more NGOs are working hard. 

What can the children of our age do?
Actually when I think about it, we are the only ones who can actually DO something about this issue. We can arrange rallies and launch andolans against this crime. We can write letters to the government about how we feel about this problem and how it affects us. Also, most importantly, we can take up the stand to educate at least one such child and give him a better life. So my friends, it is us and only us who can save these precious diamonds  and make this world a WAY better place to live in!!

We do not understand the scars that put them in agony,
We do not understand their need for a nice, warm bed,
The children that are starving, scarred and sore, 
The children that are beaten, bruised and lives are torn, 
They need your help,
They need your love,
So please help them and show them your love,

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