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Essay on “Child Labour: Causes of the Problem” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Child Labour: Causes of the Problem

 

As a developing country, India is faced with a multitude of social problems. One such problem, child labour, has disgraced the entire subcontinent giving it the distinction of having the largest number of child labourers in the world.

Poverty is one of the most widespread reasons for the child labour system in India. Indian children are often forced to work out of necessity. Poverty forces children into the workplace. Many of the children wish to continue their education, yet must work for survival. Part of the child labour problem rests upon the burdens caused by the large family, which is in itself an underlying cause of poverty. Although poverty a main catalyst of the child labour problem, it is not, however, the only cause.

A second factor contributing to the labour situation is family debt. Often family debts will be passed on to the next generation forcing young children into bonded labour. Bonded children have no way of ending the cycle of debt created by their parents; their labour seems only to incur more debt as their master controls their fate. This cycle perpetuates with children being bonded to their masters to repay even eight-generation old debts. The young also work involuntarily to pay off debts incurred when adults borrow money to pay for life-cycle events like weddings.

The general Indian attitude toward child labour presents a third factor in the continuance of this social problem. Found in this culture’s view of the social order and the hierarchical caste system,

this attitude consists of feelings of indifference and helplessness towards child labour. This position is best represented through the  unfortunate death of an eight-year-old orphan named Shiva who was caught escaping and then beaten and scorched to death by his employer. When Shiva was reported dead on June 29, 1993, the parties involved were questioned as to the boy’s death, yet no one seemed willing to accept the blame. Shiva’s parents claimed they had to send Shiva to work or else their family would have starved; the employer said that he was doing the family a favour by giving their child a job, and the government stated that these things happen…it’s not a major problem in this country; it is a way of life. The reticent bystanders who watched silently the repeated beating of the child argued that there is nothing we can do, really… this is a harsh reality. Maybe it’s wrong in principle, but it’s probably inevitable where there is extreme poverty. While all of these parties maintained their innocence, the death of Shiva was a result of a combination of all their attitudes toward the child labour system.

A fourth problem, the irrelevant and often inaccessible education system in India, has led to an increase in child labour. In 1996, Carol Bellamy, director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, released the annual State of the World’s Children report citing education as the single most important step in ending child labour. Bellamy’s report went steadily further saying that with innovative programs—which, for example, may pay families a small stipend to make up for the lost wages of children—developing nations can burnish their future prospects while rescuing today’s children. That should be a focus of foreign aid as well. Provisions were made in the Indian Constitution to allow for the education of India’s youth. Although these provisions were made, many children still find themselves illiterate, uneducated, and driven to work.

A final factor in the issue of Indian child labour rests in the inefficiency of protective legislation for working children. Although the government has made attempts to eradicate child labour, these provisions are greatly ignored and the industry continues.

One problem with this iegislation is that much of it fails to completely define the term child labour. Another complication lies

within the country’s vast population as their ignorance of the law and illiteracy prevent the enforcement of such proposals. This ignorance could be prevented through the establishment of a universal Indian dialect and a higher standard of education throughout the countryside. Child labour is caused by a multitude of problems including poverty forced bondage, the general Indian attitude toward child labour, the irrelevant and often inaccessible education system, and the inefficiency of protective legislation for working children. In order to overcome these obstacles, India must first recognize that a child labour crisis exists and then address each of its sources individually.

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