Nothing irks me more than common cases of child labor especially in the urban society and more is typical apathy towards taking responsibility. It so common that if one just lists a dozen of your friends, relations or neighbors, you'd come across one instance of child labor.
Many people hide behind reasoning that the little work done by the child give the child a chance for better life. I ask, better life at what cost? Cost of child's self respect? It would be better if the child was left to the child's predicament instead of getting it into the labor. First of all its extremely rare that a child gets formal school education when employed as a maid/household help; secondly even if it happens, its rare the kind of importance is given to studies as needed. The stunted emotional growth leads to child developing into another 'ramu' or 'Bahadur'! So much so for 'better life' !!!
There is something though which I am just not able to understand. The level of cruelty people can stoop to just because they have a child under their control! How can one's conscience even let one think of harming a little child's fingers or any other part of body! Surely the existence of conscience is questionable!
I remember coming across an instance of child labor in my friend's home. I tried my best to make them understand but sadly they never let go of that child woman nor ever educated her. Their excuse that she was at the least safe in their home and she herself was not interested in studying! I also realized the only reason the family kept her was their apathy to her future and of course heart being really small to not have ability to accommodate a child's welfare from a holistic manner. They wanted the labor to pay for her safety! My heart bleeds to know the price the child paid for her safety, wasn't just labor she did; she paid with her capability and possibilities and was left with a life of misery with no hope in the future. Well, the family claims to have done her good by marrying her to another of their servants! [ Side track: Well, In India anyways it does seem the logical culmination of girls destiny is supposed to be marriage ! ]
I also didn't have courage to report to any NGO since this was in their village/town and not a metropolitan. I regret it today but I have promised myself that the next instance I come across, I will indeed take all the required steps. I encourage all readers of this blog to do the same.
4 years ago