In our everyday lives, while from moving along the road to ordering a cup of tea in a roadside ‘dhaba’, we come across small little young boy or girl who is either begging or brings a cup of tea for us. How many of us really feel pity and shell out some extra cash just for him/her. Instead, in most of the cases, we simply shout and scolds them saying ‘kisne bola tujhe ye kaam karne ko?’ – ‘Teri umar hi kya h?’ But have we ever pondered why they are begging or working when they should be in schools learning to read and write. Are the child labour laws in India not this much strengthened that the children are not at the right place where they should be right now? However, unfortunately for them, living a decent lifestyle or education is simply a Dream.
In reference to the letter recently written by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the ‘Make in India‘ programme will prove to be a ‘big disaster’ if child labour laws in the country are not strengthened. In this letter, Satyarthi has said, “If investors are coming from foreign countries to manufacture in India and if your laws are so weak in child labour in comparison to international standards then it will become a big disaster.”
Yes, Mr. Satyarthi is right that Child Labour laws of India are not strong and India is, sadly, home to the largest number of child labourers in the world and his work in the field is praised worthy. But Child Labour is still an answered question in Asia’s third-largest economy where at one side Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, pledging to promote foreign investment along with lowering barriers to doing business in India. All this is been done to transform India into a manufacturing powerhouse like China. ‘Make in India’ slogan is slowly capturing the attention of both the supporters and detractors. If PM Modi’s Independence Day speech (15 August, 2015) is to be taken into consideration then Make in India campaign will act as an platform to get foreign collaboration along with investment in Indian Economic sphere.
However, if he (PM Narendra Modi) really want to make ‘Make in India’ program a grand success, he must have to keep in mind that this basic problem needs to be addressed first at all spheres starting from the initial basis. Because creating the laws is a very easy task but to keep a check that they are being implemented seriously is not everybody’s cup of tea.
In India, our children start working at a very tender age because our law allows it and the economic conditions of the Indian family compel them to do so. Now, when the big brands will be dependent on local producers to manufacture their product, who will suffer? It is the small children who will suffer because for some or the other reason they are forced by the inner self to get employed to earn bread and butter for their family. But the international media and human rights organizations will never support India for this nor will India be spared.
Our Government leaves no stone unturned to create and implement strict Child Labour Laws on its part. But it is the duty of we the people of India (the implementer) to adopt and abide by the laws. The government cannot stand at every nook and corner to keep a watch on the ongoing activities in our nation. This has to be taken care of by the People of India irrespective of the fact whether they are parents, employers or the child themselves. In the absence of this awareness, Government may make as many laws or whatsoever, the problem of Child labour will never end nor there be the solution to end this.
At the end, the hope of a prosperous and bright future of any country lies in its children. But this doesn’t mean they have to get employed at an age when they should be in schools planning what they want to become in life. Let them learn and let them be what they want to be. And then only the Make in India programme along with ‘Clean India’, ‘Skill India‘ and ‘Digital India‘ missions will be a Grand Success and everybody will admire it.