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Labour Day

Most countries across the world celebrated Labour Day on May 1, also known as May Day and International Workers' Day. Where on one side the Labour Day is being predominantly celebrated across the world the other side many of us are still ignorant of the significance of this day. The day originates with the labor movements in early 19th century, when work hours were not fixed. On this day several labor unions went on strikes, demanding a standard work day of eight hours in a day. After a long struggle, eight hours in a day became a norm in many countries across the globe. Since then 1st May is celebrated as Labor Day.

But the lament thing is that the Labor laws failed to bring one of the preponderant sections of the labour community from the morass of exploitation to the state of euphoria. This section which is tagged as “Child Labour” is still the preference amongst the labour class.
Child labor is a punishable crime in India and many other countries. Indian Govt. has imposed complete ban on child labor. Article 24 of the Indian Constitution clearly states that “No Child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work in any factory or mines or employed in any hazardous employment. Recently domestic work and hospitality industries are also covered in this Act.

But still there are myriads of children who are working on roadside food stalls, factories, cleaning shops/garage, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, dhabas and as domestic work. Despite a complete ban by the Indian government on the working of children below 14 years of age as domestic servants, the abysmal thing is that still this practice is not being brought to an end.
One of the basic reasons is; such children belong to the families who are facing penury hence they prove to be worthy in generating extra income for their families. They are the first choice of the employer as it’s quite easy to exploit them. These children don’t demand high wages and are ready to perpetually work for long hours and that too without protesting as compared to a skilled worker. Moreover they don’t switch over to other jobs easily. According to a study, about 200,000 child workers are estimated to be working as domestic servants and other activities. It’s not only shocking news but it also represents an abysmal picture of the improper functioning of the Government bodies related to social welfare.

Government has launched several programmes to eradicate Child labor but these programmes render little help. The Child labor (Prohibition & Regulation) ACT 1986 is one such a step in this direction. But these laws are being enforced only on papers and have no impact in the real life; the situation is totally different at ground levels. There are many flaws in these Acts and due to these flaws the employers find a way to escape from the grasp of law. There is provision in Act that, “No child below the age of 14 shall be employed to work.” But what if they are working willingly?

When asked from the domestic employers, the employers repudiate the statement of employing a child for domestic help. They are very well aware of the fact that engaging child labor is a cognizable offense hence hesitates in accepting the fact. They add that when these children are working willingly what can they do? They haven’t forced these children to work.
But on contrary in some cases the parents force their children to work. These children are bereft for their basic right of education by their parents.

Myriads of children spend their midday sweat, their midnight oil; they tire the night in thoughts, their day in toil. What do these children want from us? They want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate their better natures.

The problem of child labor is broadening equally in all parts of our country. It’s not limited up to urban areas; rural areas are also beneath its hold. The most exploitative form of child labor includes child prostitution. The situation of girl child laborer is far worse in such cases. The agents of these children allure the parents to send their child with them for the sake of money. And after that these children are thrust into Prostitution work. It’s in fact the most shameful act that these unfortunate children have been treated as commodities.
Begging is yet another dark face of child labor. Agent’s picks children form slum areas and force them to work as beggars.

So what is the significance of Labor Day to these deprived child workers? Nothing is the most appropriate answer to this. Government must establish a National Trust to help these poor children financially, as poverty is the root cause of child labor. We also have to cut down the role of illiteracy. Education reduces the chance of being prone to exploitation. Govt. must have to take stern actions against those who rupture these Acts. Govt. is trying to remove child labor on its part. But the help of every individual is awaited. Every citizen must have to work with Government in this direction. Only by entrusting responsibilities to Government doesn’t solve the matter. We too have to understand our onus.

No one can abolish this evil in overnight, single handed. Only the joint efforts by Government and individuals can eradicate this evil, not only from our nation but also from the world.
From each point of view, child labor is not at all justified. It is said that Children are the backbone and the future of nation. If given an opportunity, these child labors too can outshine as Doctors, Engineers and Architects and can serve the nation in a better way. Only our joint & constant effort can eliminate Child labor.

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Devendra Lingwal

Devendra Lingwal

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A result oriented writer with a flair to write for books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and web publications for technical, business, and general audiences. Able to conceive, design, plan, and manage all phases of editorial projects; not afraid to dig in and create any single editorial element or group of elements. That's me:

As a Citizen Journalist have won awards for 4 of my articles, ‘Time to have a re-look at blacklisted sikhs’, ‘Killing for honour kills human honour’, ‘Gandhi, youth and globalisation’ and ‘Growing pains of the youth’ as the 'best articles'.


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