The moment I hear child labour, this quote by Iqbal Masih, "Children should have pens in their hands, not tools!" strikes my mind. He was a Pakistani boy who became a symbol of abusive child labour. Born in 1983, he was sold into bondage by his family.
Every year, June 12 is marked as World Day Against Child Labour. It is an International Labour Organization (ILO) sanctioned holiday first launched in 2002 aiming to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour.
With child labour being rampant in India, of late and since time immemorial, it is a bug that has been eating through the fabric of innocent childhood. It leaves us disturbed and hits us right in the heart, to think and act in the direction of its alleviation. This world has to bear in mind that the innocent buds of nature are chafed off even before they bloom. This is really SAD!
Our world has been so deeply infected with child labour that we have somewhat become indifferent to it. Why is it that we awaken only on such days and then forget them the day after! Why? There are kids around us who are either enjoying their childhood as it should be enjoyed or are either being grilled for being the innocent kids they are! It is a heart sinking sight to see them earn hard for a living, while they should be enjoying dollies at the ice-cream parlour and laughing away playing in the playgrounds.
With this, we get to you a powerful video from Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation bringing forth the stark contrast in today's world, where one child wakes up to go to school and another to go to labour. Mr Kailash Satyarthi is a Nobel Peace Laureate and Children's Rights Advocate.
The government, civil society and law enforcement agencies are coming together for zero tolerance towards child labour. However, it is our individual responsibility as well to do our bit for a child-friendly community. Let us not normalise child labour. The statistics of child labour are still startling, let us normalise them, or rather minimise them as much as possible!
Keep in mind that no child below 14 years of age should work. If one sees any child below 14 years of age, working, then it must be reported on the helpline numbers 1098 or 100.
With this, let us pledge to make India, #ChildLabourFreeIndia
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