Child labour is becoming increasingly common in Pakistan, especially in big cities like Karachi, in diversified strange forms. Nowadays, child labour can be seen when you go out to shop or to eat or even to pick up your children from school, because rich ladies now, do not just carry branded bags and other riches, now they have something else accompanying them: a child.
And no, it is not their own child, but somebody else’s whose parents are paid money so their child can go alongwith these well-to-do ladies, around malls carrying heavy shopping bags that are often bigger than his whole physical existence, and so that the same child can go to restaurants with them and sit in a corner and watch the babies and the rich family eating their lavish meal, and yes it’s the same kid who has to give up his own childhood to take care of somebody else’s kids at home/school/everywhere while the mothers parade in heels and pretend to look busy and arrange charity functions (because it is a nice chance to dress up!) and can talk about people because they have nothing better to do. This is beyond horrendous. Surprisingly there are quite a few laws regarding child labour in Pakistan, Children are not allowed to work before the age of 14, and the state is obliged to provide free and ‘compulsory’ education for all children up to the age of 16.
The public education in this country is a laughing/crying matter but it is heartbreaking to see the effect it can have on these gentle lives. Had these kids been given the chance to acquire decent education for free and if only it really was made compulsory in practice, these children would not be the target of of ridiculous treatment by the so-called educated class. I fully and sanely hold the government responsible for these ill-fated child workers; had the government been more effective in implementing the laws that they so carefully draw, these children would not have been suffering.