An Essay: Child Labour In India:

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An Essay: Child Labour in India:

Introduction

Child Labour, consisting of children below 14 years of age, is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as “the type of work performed by children that deprives them of their childhood and their dignity, which hampers their access to education and acquisition of skills and which is performed under conditions harmful to their health and their development�. Children are the greatest gift to humanity and the same gift is being misused for personal gains as child labour. They constitute 36% of India’s population but a large majority of children in the age group of 5-14 years continue to remain in distress and turmoil. One in every five children below the age of 14 is a labourer. The flower (Child) withers before it blossoms.

Magnitude of the problem

Child labour is more a rural phenomenon than an urban phenomenon. Due to acute poverty poor families residing in rural areas send their children to urban areas for bread and butter. In urban areas, to survive in a cutthroat competition, manufacturers have lowered the real wages for adult workers in order to employ child workers on low wages. The problem is very much vast in its dimension. Children are forced to work in the most hazardous, unhygienic conditions, where they are vulnerable to many severe health problems.

Causes of Child Labour

In a country like India where over 40 percent of the population is living in conditions of extreme poverty, child labour is a complex issue. Following are some of the causes of child labour.

First Extreme poverty is the chief cause of child labour. The children either supplement their parents’ income or are the only wage earners in the family.

Second Child labour is deliberately created by vested interest to get cheap labour.

Third Low level of parental education is also an important factor in determining the incidence of child labour.

Fourth A majority of parents prefer to send their children to work rather than to school at the school-going age, primarily on account of their need for a...

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