The poor must follow small family norm

This refers to the reports and editorials on the enforcement of child labour in the country. It is good that The Tribune has been highlighting this problem. However, there seems to be no logic in the suggestions to alleviate the hardship faced by the poor minor children. Interestingly, the question asked by the some working minor children is: “Will the government feed our families if we stop working?”

The question of minor children taking care of their families may sound ridiculous. But then, the real issue in question is that the poor people like the rickshaw pullers produce so many children that they cannot feed and educate them. Unless and until this craze for having innumerable children is stopped, no solution to check child labour will work.

Moreover, why should it be the government’s duty to provide necessities of life to such children when their parents fail to limit their family size?

L.M. MALIK, Chandigarh



Children of poor families, irrespective of their age, are considered additional bread earners of the family. The government should take suitable measures to induce such children towards education to be imparted free of cost. The parents of these children should be made to understand the importance of the ban on child labour.

The main problem in our country is the rising population figures which has crossed hundred crores. So much money is going down the drain without any result. Why shouldn’t the poor people be told about the benefits of having small families?

In a democracy, harsh measures cannot be adopted as happened during the national emergency (1975-77). A cartoonist has very well expressed in a cartoon showing the hands of a child chained stating thus: “We have stopped his hands from working. Can you stop his mouth from eating?”



Before implementing the ban on child labour, the authorities hardly thought about its far-reaching implications. Cheap and readily available child labour is simply indispensable for every strata of society. From our homes and roadside dhabas to big industrial houses, the menace of child labour is widespread.

The last paragraph of the editorial touches the analytical aspects of the origin of the problem. However, it overlooked one point. Basically, the burgeoning population has resulted in poverty which is the root cause of the problem. Poor people produce more children who have to work hard to keep the family hearth burning. Provide enough work to every adult individual besides strict measures for population control. Begging children at public places present a pathetic scene. Why don’t the government stop it forthwith? To begin with, rescue and rehabilitate these unfortunate children first; then take up the gigantic task of banning child labour. But without eliminating poverty, we can’t eliminate child labour.



The editorial, “Lost childhood” (Oct 11), addressed a very pertinent issue which is more important than the ban on child labour itself and their proper rehabilitation. It is a fact that children at an age when they should have been in school are forced to work day and night in dhabas, houses or elsewhere and tolerate inhuman treatment so that they and their dependants may get food to live. But even they are better than those who beg or join the crime world.

Now when the government has finally banned the employment of children below the age of 14 years, all affected children will be out of jobs. As a result, they are unable to earn livelihood for themselves and their dependants. The onus is on the government. It must take immediate steps to rehabilitate them so that they may not fall in wrong hands and adopt unfair means for survival.

T.L. SHARMA, Nangal Township

How safe are soft drinks?

Of late, there has been much hype and hoopla over whether the aerated drinks are fit for human consumption or not. There seems to be no plausible answer to this question.

Ever since Swami Ramdev revealed that the aerated drinks contain a highly poisonous substance, the phenomenal sales of soft drinks nosedived substantially. The Centre for Science and Environment and other scientific organisations and laboratories too proved that the aerated drinks are a great health hazard and unfit for human consumption.

However, in the recent past, there has been a virtual spate of advertisements on the television featuring celebrities like Aamir Khan, Smirit Irani claiming that these drinks are fit. May be these celebrities are working overtime in popularising the soft brands, unmindful of their serious threat to the gullible people who are taken for a ride by the companies.




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