Child labour

There lies no doubt that child labour forms one of the greatest evil of the society. It is simply inhumanitarian. But hard reality of life and theoretical values often do not meet on the common ground. No parents send their children to toil physically after dropping them out from schools out of pleasure. Rather the pangs of hunger compel them to do it. Yes, by taking advantage of the utter vulnerability of the poor parents and children, if the vested interests severely beat and exploit the downtrodden child labourers; we should not spare their employers. But what about the areas where child labourers are not engaged in a life-threatening industry or not get thrashed up say in a sympathetic homely environment! One may still term it as “immoral”; but just opposite to it, resides the hard fact of reality. Suppose these children were not recruited by any family! Now what would they eat! Moreover many children might be orphans with not even a poor parent to provide even a grain of rice! Will the “conscience-bearers” of the nation come in aid and offer them even a biscuit! Will the State ensure food for them! What would the helpless do if all avenues of child labour get closed for them! Yes, it might sound a bit harsh, but this is the practical reality of life. Just because the hosts recruit such children in homes, at least they manage to survive the day. Neither the State nor our self-declared moral guardians look after them. Rather the privileged ones recruit the children as their “domestic help” or “caregivers” of their babies, thereby indirectly helping them to sustain. Indeed they are doing a noble job (might not be ethically, but in hard practical context) by at least ensuring food for the helpless at the expense of their service.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE
Kolkata, India

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