Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The dilemma that is child labor


This is a fruit stall, manned by the two children shown in the picture. It falls en route, my evening walk. Confident that the children are capable of keeping eye on the stall, the mother has opened yet another, at some distance. The father shuttles between the two stalls and keeps an eye on both in between his work, here and there. The first day I saw this stall, I curiously asked them the prices and they were very fluent at the information and collecting the money from me for some mangoes I bought. I asked them if they didn't go to school, they said, yes we go to school sometimes and then we study from the books we have right here.

I am angry at the fact that these girls do not have a decent chance at education, but to them the work is more important because it ensures that the family does not go without food. I was happy that they made the effort to study, in between it all.

Today is anti child labor day, but I realize that in a country such as ours, where the options are between starvation and starvation..education and non-employment of children is perhaps not even an option sometimes. As such a practical approach to this problem, is perhaps more sustainable.

Just as lunch is the cheapest and tenderest of fruits, left over from a not sold stock, between fun and games, studies can also be a breather between standing in the sun, selling fruits.

3 comments:

Vishal Raina said...

Well I am glad citizens like you still exist and think about this problem.

However, I have many friends who talk about these issues and do nothing in reality except talking about it for their time pass. Its good to talk but if you dont react whats the point.

Atleast you posted something and showed your concern. I am really happy!

If you can contact them please go and guide them for open schooling as the forms are out already. You can get the information in Wednesdays Hindustan Times dated 13th Jun 2012.

Thanks again...

Raj said...

I completely agree with you. It is so unfortunate that children have to choose between food for life and food for the mind. I really admire those children’s efforts to study despite the fact that they have to work for most of the day. I wish and pray the situation changes. I love the simple way you bring out such important issues through your exemplary writing.

indu chhibber said...

Maitreyi,it is difficult to deride child labor when the set-up is a family enterprise like this one....but when i see small kids of migrant laborers roaming near their parents'construction sites,i do wonder how will they find education because they don't stay at any place for long.