Saturday, October 02, 2004

Child Labour

I was eating in my insti mess one day when I saw a kid about 11 years old, wearing a dirty, over-sized hand-me-down shirt standing behind a counter and emptying plates half-filled with food into the dust-bin. I felt, wow, a school that teaches social responsibility and business ethics gave the mess contract to a company that employs children to work. Not just the mess, but even the housekeeping services employs children below 16. I could have complained and prevented children from being employed.

I realised, if these kids are not working here they won't be sent to a school to study or play with the other kids, they will be sent to work somewhere else like a workshop or some roadside restaurant. There, they will have a very hard time - I have seen and heard of kids being hit with spanners, constantly bullied by the older kids, their hard earned money being stolen away. They too will become like this after spending time there. How exactly are petty criminals created? At least, here they are safer and they have a warm place to sleep, three square meals a day and a non-leaking roof over their head.

It is hard, but sometimes you have to look the other way.


Anonymous said...

SALAAM BOMBAY by MIRA NAIR clearly outlines the life of such children..when are they going to see the dawn in their lives?? GOD BLESS THEM

Srinath said...

Hmm.. Nice way to convince yourself for not taking any action. Actually.. I too have seen such a thing in my college mess and have convinced myself with the same logic. But then, think of it this way... May be the earnings as a mess worker ( less hassles and neat money ) is the luring aspect that made the children's parents to send them to work in the mess rather than sending them to some corporation school. may be... but, without investigating or trying, it does not make sense to convince oneself with self made theories.