SOCIAL VALUES IN OUR COUNTRY
India, our motherland is a very versatile country. We have different regions with different territorial variations, cultures and values spanning across various regions in thousand different ways, traditions flowing in our blood, customs that are a part of every Indian household.
These customs and values hold us together and bind us in one nutshell; hence we live by the true spirit of being an Indian. Although India is proud of its achievements, we also have major social issues to be addressed in the country.
We have reached the moon, conquered space, our country has one of the best military powers in the world, other countries look up to Indians for the mass wealth of knowledge Indians have in possession. The advancements made in science and technology is far beyond our imagination.
Indian doctors are one of the best in the world. Yet, life come’s a full circle and here comes the other side of the story.
Though we have made advancements in every field possible, we still lack behind when it comes to changing certain social stigmas of the society. Those stigmas that existed since ages and continue to be prevalent in modern times too are a big concern and worry for the big personalities of the country.
It is indeed a mark of bad reputation for the country that is enriched in its values and principles. It is due to a certain section of the population that owes to spoil the image of the country that involves themselves in acts considered immoral or one that is illegally associated with or banned in the country.
SOCIAL STIGMAS IN OUR COUNTRY
We talk of women’s rights, exploitation against women, the social stigma of drinking, drug abuse, trafficking, etc. All these are criminal offences and violation of the rules of the land. They can amount to punishment and other strict criminal measures if caught red handed.
Another addition to this list is the issue of child labour. Abusing children and illegally employing them in companies’ amounts to child labour and calls for strict enforcement of law and punishment against those involved.
EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
Today’s children are the leaders of tomorrow. It in our hands to shape their future in proper ways to help them lead a fruitful life and bring success to themselves, their parents and fame to their society. Children should be taught leadership skills to become torch bearers for tomorrow.
But this is not what is happening all over in our country. We can see lot of young children employed illegally as house maids, young boys working in dhabas and workshops, children employed in construction sites, etc. These children receive all their parents love like any other children but due to their economic status are unable to fulfill the needs of education and a good living.
If we look at facts and figures, we can easily find out that numbers coming out of survey reports are very shocking. It is reported that 1 in every 11 children in India is being forced to work as a child labourer.
As per new analysis of data, it is revealed that most of these children belong to the rural background where there is no proper education and awareness amongst elders of the community.
A very big percentage of young boys employed in big industries in order to extract cheap labor from them are school drop outs and the number stands at almost 70 % of them.
The incidence of boys being part of risky jobs in industries and mines is much higher compared to girls employed in such activities. Girls form a major chunk of the ones employed in household chores of affluent families.
RESAONS FOR EXISTENCE OF CHILD LABOUR
These facts and figures make us wonder why this practice is so common in India and what steps have been taken to curb them. India, as a country has high rise buildings on one end and on the other, a totally loop holed, and disturbing sights of people living in slum areas.
Not only are the facts disturbing, but those that belong to the lower strata of society are the ones that easily get employed in child labour activities. The reasons are plenty. Due to their financial conditions, families find it difficult to earn a livelihood.
The absence of education makes the scenario worse. Lack of education and proper guidance leads one into unguided, often misguided paths, where people blindly act without thinking.
They venture into petty jobs such as cleaning or carrying loads etc. seeing the lucrative opportunity to gain money, they also employ their small children in the trade and let them be abused.
THE EFFECTS IT HAS ON INNOCENT LIVES
Due to such mindsets, people find it difficult to face reality. People in rural areas are especially prone to sending their children to such jobs because it’s an easy money making process. The whole stigma stands on a single point about earning enough money for the family.
There are quite a few who struggle themselves hard to nurture their children and provide good education. But when one does not have the required knowledge of bringing about a child in the proper way to adulthood, he misses out on a golden opportunity to shape his child’s future.
From there, begins another dark journey of the child as accepting the world around him as his fate and leading his life in the four walls of these chores. He begins to view that he was born to be part of such a world and may even curse his own parents for letting him join into such illegal activities.
LIVING WITH HOPE
Some people realize the value of education and do not let their children venture into such activities. Instead they look after their kids and provide them with good educational facilities, good cultures and values.
In the former case, people who are uneducated do not value the need of education for their children and hence a long chain of uneducated citizens pile up in the country.
The various causes for the prevalence of child labour, the effects of child abuse and labour together with its impact on the society are already discussed. It is now time to teach about child rights activists to look into their contributions in this field and also discuss possible solutions that could bring some hope in the long term.
SOCIAL ORGANISATIONS WORKING FOR THE CAUSE
The child rights commission in India is a government body, working to safeguard the interests of children and provide them free education till the child reaches his fifth standard.
CRY, an organization working for the uplifting of underprivileged children is a big name in the country working on the cause of child labor.
Their teams are so expert in their fields that they form groups of themselves and interact with local citizens of the community to first, address issues with people, identify the causes of the problem, understand and address the problem, see the bad effects of the activity and necessitate an action plan to seek out solutions for related issues.
NGOs TO THE RESCUE
There are many NGOs working for the cause of bringing smile back on children’s’ faces and to create a child labor free state in the country. NGOs concentrate on the root issues that tend to push a child into child labour acts.
Financially being downtrodden, no good employment, shortage of food and clothing etc. make children and their parents to seek a money making route and this appears to be the best among all. So NGOs first work towards identifying reasons why children went into a working environment when they were supposed to enjoy their childhood.
Then comes discussion with parents who have sent their wards off somewhere to work and have not thought of their education at all.
Last but not the least, a solid action plan and a working team to enforce working goals for parents and to inspire them to send their children to the classroom and not to work areas.
SOME BIG NAMES
Many NGOs in India along with CRY, Child line India foundation, Uday Foundation, SOS children’s’ village and pratham foundation are working on the cause of helping children fight for their rights.
These NGOs provide a strong support system for underprivileged children in terms of bringing them to classroom, creating interest in knowledge, showing them a different kind of world and teaching them the importance of being educated and leading a good life of their own.
Parents are also educated by these centers by introducing them to learning during the evening times so that they can impart the same value education to their children also.
The government of India has set up a child helpline to help children in distress and against those who forcefully make children work for them.
Children need all happiness in this world and are the biggest assets of tomorrow. We should pledge to eradicate child labour from our country and work towards the cause of providing them better and beautiful lives.
Reference: studytoday; Wikipedia; moneycontrol
An article by Rohit Singh, Donor, CRY