Child Labour

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Our Efforts and Experiences – Part - I “In all the civilized societies all over the world system of child labour is condemned as a social evil but the fact is the system is prevelent on a large scale in a country like India. It is noticed that, in recent times our society is showing some signs of awareness about this social evil. This is the first part of the article giving details about the efforts undertaken in and around Ahmedpur for eradication of this system. Since past 12 years I am working on various issues related to rural areas through People’s Institute of Rural Development and Rachanatmac Sangharsha Samiti (Maharashtra). To generate employment for farm labour through “employment guarantee scheme”is our sustained and major activity. While working with farm labour during 1988-90 I was exposed to the issue of Child Labour. When I saw the children working as child or boned Labour in agriculture, I could realise the intensity of this issue. Agriculture is a main source of employment for labour in rural areas. Child Labour working in farms, or as a bonded labour or as a herdsman has an adverse impact on the employment of adult people. When dialogue was initialed with farm labour on this issue. They narrated that when child works as a Child Labour he/she actually supports the family. They feel that child provides something to eat to a family. This is a general feeling among the rural masses about Child Labour. The common understanding among this labour class is more working hands means more income for a family. But this calls still could not decide, whose hands these should be? They are not understanding that small hands are depriving of big hands from employment. The difficult life they are living and ignorance of these farm labour is responsible for such type of their attitude towards their own children. It made us realised that there is a need of structural changes in the society and we resolved to work for structural changes. In the society and we resolved to work for structural changes. In the initial period neither we had any plan nor a concrete stralgy to deal with the situation. We decide to have a dialogue with farm labour on this issue. Already we were discussing with them about employment minimum wages, equal wages for equal work, laws for the profection of a farm labour etc.

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