SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Enforce Act to check child labour

June 12 was observed as World Day Against Child Labour. It is a shame that our country, which boasts of nuclear technology and IT super skills, is home to 45 million children who have to forsake the carefree joys of childhood to fill their bellies.

Apart from working as cultivators, agricultural labour, domestic help, and in hotels and restaurants, a big proportion of these children are employed in intrinsically hazardous occupations. Surveys undertaken by various NGOs put 1.5 lakh children employed in the match and fireworks industry of Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

The carpet industry of Palamau, Varanasi and Mirzapur employs four lakh children. Another one lakh children work in the glassware and glass bangle industry of Firozabad (UP). The powerloom industry of Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) and zari units of Delhi employ more than 1.5 lakh child labourers, while one lakh children are involved in cutting and polishing of jems and diamonds in Jaipur and Surat.

The brass industry of Andhra Pradesh employs over 70,000 children while another 80,000 are employed in Aligarh’s lock industry. Ironically, child labour in India accounts for 15 per cent of India’s Gross National Product. Acts or laws are of little use until society accepts that these disadvantaged children have as much right to childhood care as education. The legislature, the executive and the judiciary have failed these children. The onus is now on the media to spread awareness against child labour.

GAURAV JULKA, Ferozepur City



II

Children alone hold the key to the future of a nation. Yet they are easily the most neglected and abused section of our population. It is time we realised the fact that investment in a child will reap huge benefits for the country.

I suggest two ways by which children will grow up into healthy citizens thereby ensuring a prosperous nation. First, the government must ensure good quality primary and secondary education and not mere literacy. A strong foundation in education is real empowerment for the future.

And secondly, family being the first school, parents must spend quality time with their children and inculcate in them values of simple living and high thinking. This will go a long way in shaping the child’s psychology and minimise chances of deviancy in the coming years.

ANUSHA SINGH, Faculty of Law, Delhi University

III

Despite various laws, child labour continues unabated. Consider how many of them work in dhabas, hotels and shops. Children work as domestic help too. They are also engaged in hazardous jobs like brick kiln and firecracker industry. Surprisingly, no action is taken against employers who engage children in such jobs.

The enforcement machinery is very weak. What is the use of the laws if they cannot be enforced in letter and spirit? The Centre and the states should follow a coordinated strategy to educate poor children in schools.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

IV

Drastic steps by the government, NGOs and all citizens are needed to check child labour. Children who should have been in schools are picking rags, begging on the sheets, working in houses, dhabas and elsewhere. Despite several programmes for the uplift of children, their status is deteriorating.

Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens. Quality education and good health of the children are directly related to growth. Let us shoulder the responsibility of taking care of children.

R.P. DOBHAL, Chandigarh

‘Ethics must count’

It was an excellent front-page editorial by H. K. Dua in The Tribune on June 30. I agree that “Ethics must count” at all times and in all places, but more particularly in affairs concerning the highest constitutional office in the land.

 The trouble is that none of our major political parties ever take the high moral ground on any issue. Oh, for a Gandhi!

 FALI S. NARIMAN, New Delhi

 


Too much of cricket

One gets irritated to watch cricket talk all the time on most TV channels. Sometimes, the selection and another time the cricket board or the players. Why so much coverage for one game? Other games and players too merit attention.

The cricket mania is not only a waste of our time and energy but also projects our people as sentimentally abnormal. They blindly garland and uplift the victorious while lunatically behave with the losers. Where is the sportsman spirit?

We preach and pretend egalitarianism, but we are the worst discriminators in every aspect of our polity. Uniformity in speech and action can project us as an astute and responsible nation that believes in diligence and intelligence without discrimination of any kind.

HARI OM GOEL, Amritsar

Appalling picture

Aditi Tandon’s write-up, “Most dowry victims in Punjab are poisoned”, reveals the appalling picture of Punjab in terms of dowry deaths. It is shocking to know that in Punjab one woman becomes a victim of dowry every week. And the sad part of the story is that most victims are poisoned, which is a paradigm of man’s inhumanity to man.

The survey in the article disclosed that of 176 dowry cases, poisoning was the cause of death in 149 cases. Perhaps we are being knowingly ignorant, but we are acting hardly within the ambit of humanity by killing a life and in this process we are contributing to the already declining sex ratio in the state and all over.

The state governments have to put their best foot forward to eradicate it from society. Mass awareness is the need of the hour. Various awareness programmes, seminars should be part of it and conducted in both cities and villages.

GAURAV TYAGI, Patiala
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