Saturday, December 31, 2011


While I was walking down this street all by myself,
I met this kid, who came running towards me,
Initially I thought he was scared by the dog that was chasing him
But there was more to it,
On further questioning this kid told me that he was running away from his master’s place,
A place where he was forced to work.
A place where they’d beat him up and burn him when he asked for food.
This poor little kid was 7 years old,
His mother died long ago,
His father was a drunkard, a man who no kid would want to call his own.
He was scared, thirsty and hungry as hell.
Just then I took him to this place where he could eat and quench his thrist ,
He never let my hand go free.
He held it with force, he was scared, that poor soul.
He cried and insisted me to take him to a place where he’ll feel safe,
A place where his master could never find him
He was horrified, how can a man be so rude to a 7 year old?
This kid made me cry.

Studies & various reports quote:

Child labour is a concrete manifestation of violations of a range of rights of children and is recognised as a serious and enormously complex social problem in India. Working children are denied their right to survival and development, education, leisure and play, and adequate standard of living, opportunity for developing personality, talents, mental and physical abilities, and protection from abuse and neglect. Notwithstanding the increase in the enrolment of children in elementary schools and increase in literacy rates since 1980s, child labour continues to be a significant phenomenon in India.
Concerned about the future of its children India has implemented a country- wide ban recently, on children below fourteen working in the hospitality sector and as domestics. It is intended that those who are found to violate the law will be fined with 430 dollars and sent into rigorous imprisonment for two years. Children in India are not allowed to work in mines, factories and other hazardous jobs already. Two more professions have been added in a list of fifty seven occupations which were considered hazardous for a child’s development needs in the ‘child labour act’ passed in 1986.Childs rights activists are waxing eloquent in high pitched voices about the absolute importance of stopping child labour. But legislation in this regard is just like an intention. It is more important to take development measures to ensure its practical application by eliminating the reasons of child labour from our society. The reasons giving birth to child labour are poverty, illiteracy, scarcity of schools, ignorance, socially regressive practices, blind customs and traditions, migration and last but not the least corruption amongst employees and government labour organizations. People should not be able to get away with employing and exploiting children.

-Purvasha Mansharamani

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