31 Oct 07
We are receiving news since three days of young boys being ‘rescued ‘ from Embroidery and Zari workshops in Shapur Jat, all are below 18 years of age.
Police and NGO ‘action’ came in the wake of news paper reports that a famous foreign marketing chain had discontinued procuring garments from India on account of involvement of child labour in the manufacture of garments.
Shapur Jat is a village in the capital city of New Delhi, just 10 km from the Parliament house, Presidents’ Estate, 7 Km from PM’s residence, 7 Km from the residence of Mr Yechury a vocal communist in Vasant Kunj, in New Delhi.
The children are from W Bengal, Orissa and Jharkand. What about UP , Bihar and Haryana? They are employed in sweat shops in Moradabad, Agra, (Varanasi)Benaras, Hissar, Panipat, Sonipat etc.
It is the same story, whether it be Andhra, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra.
We see children every where, in every tea shop and dhaba, all over the country, working, getting a paltry amount as ‘pay’, a meal or two a day. Kicks, blows and bad words they get in plenty from owners and customers.
Parents in the villages send them to work, with full knowledge of their working conditions. Such is the poverty that Parents feel their children are better off even in these adverse work surroundings.
Sending them back to villages? Then what? To what life? Poverty and squalor and an extra mouth to feed?
Are they supposed to beg on the streets?
( It is illegal for minors to beg, but you see them on street corners, every where and in front of temples and mosques and churches)
What do you think should be done? By whom?
What can you do? What would you like to do?