The curse of child labour

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

I was deeply moved by Anthea Ay­ache’s ar­ti­cle on child slav­ery in In­dia (‘Sav­ing the child slaves’, Septem­ber 6). But there is hope with peo­ple like Kailash Sat­yarthi try­ing to fight against the prac­tice.

The curse of child labour is a flour­ish­ing busi­ness across the sub­con­ti­nent. Laws against it are flouted with con­temp­tu­ous dis­re­gard. There are times when I feel cer­tain trades, such as car­pet weav­ing, the man­u­fac­ture of sports goods and sur­gi­cal in­stru­ments, em­broi­dery work in cloth­ing stores, house­hold jobs – es­pe­cially for girls – and or­gan­ised beg­gary, are ear­marked for child labour.

Of­ten we see young women with an in­fant in their lap, his head dan­gling – ob­vi­ously drugged – stand­ing at road in­ter­sec­tions in cities, beg­ging. It’s a ter­ri­ble sight and many benev­o­lent peo­ple give some money. It is said that th­ese in­fants are rented out for this pur­pose.


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