Every child is innocent, pure-hearted and full
of life. A child is associated with his or her
childhood; which is the most beautiful phase of
a child's life. It is the time for play, study
and being oneself. A section of children get to
enjoy their childhood and enjoy a family
environment, school life, studying, playing,
making friends and pursuing their heart's
desire. Be it the urban or rural sector,
childhood is what makes a child into a true
person. In the rural areas children are seen to
help their parents in their work and have their
share of fun as well. But, are all children
fortunate enough to have a happy and fun filled
childhood? It is a question that we should ask
ourselves and become aware of a harsh reality -
Child labour exists in several forms across the state and country. We see so many children who are deprived of their childhood and do not get the opportunity to enjoy life as children should do. They do not play, study or go to school. They are striving hard to earn their living by working in roadside stalls, shops, markets, railway platforms, restaurants, dhabas and in several households as domestic helps. Children are seen doing odd jobs such as polishing shoes, washing dishes and utensils, cars, buses, auto rickshaws and taxis. They are not paid well and are seen as a cheap source of labour that makes them vulnerable to exploitation by the masses. These children are seen to toil beyond working hours and are seen slogging their lives out for a meal or for a few pennies to support their families who are below the poverty line. In reality, these children should be in schools and doing all the things that normal children do.
In context to the law of the land, child labour is a crime and whoever encourages it should be punished severely, so that innocent children aren't deprived of their childhood. Every child has a right to education as per the laws of the state and country; and it is time that we begin implementing the same effectively to get rid of this menace that is destroying the economy and future growth of the country. The country and state should ensure that child labour is banned and every child has secure and happy childhood. In our own small way, we should also not encourage child labour in our homes and neighbourhood and discourage those who think of employing children as domestic helps or making them do all kinds of odd jobs.
In the words of William Shakespeare - 'Children are the fathers of men'. If this holds true, then we should ensure every child's childhood. We should work for a brighter future and a progressive Indian society. Steps should be taken to educate and help these children who are victims of child labour and securing their future, instead of depriving them of their childhood. There are some schools, institutions and organizations who have taken up the task of educating street children and getting them to enjoy their childhood like any normal child. After all they are also Indian citizens of the Republic of India, whose constitution is for the people, of the people and by the people.