HYDERABAD: The year 2021 is marked as the international year for elimination of child labour, and June 12 is observed as World Day Against Child Labour.
While many eminent personalities delivering strong speeches on this day, on well-decorated podiums, about the social evil called child labour, many children are sweating in some automobile garages, bangle and jewellery workshops or welding shops. Many children are working as domestic workers or babysitters too.
Sheik Ayoub, 22-year-old, working in a jewellery workshop at Abids, has been into this trade for the past ten years. “I work in a jewellery workshop in Hyderabad, my father sent me to work here. I am West Bengal,” he said.
“Parents in villages of West Bengal cannot take care of their children due to utter poverty. Employers in Hyderabad encourage migrant workers to get children from their villages, by promising better care, and pay them around Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per year. There are hundreds of children working in the old city, especially in Gulzar Houz and Kali Kaman areas, in bangle and gold jewellery workshops,” he said.
In Bholakpur Market, which has several scrap depots, children work to segregate scrap material. It is estimated 3.37 lakh children are working in the state of Telangana.
Aruna Ravi Kumar, social commentator and author, says, “We find children working in the houses of many people who are having responsible positions in the society, including bureaucrats and politicians, as well as anchors, cinema personalities and celebrities. What example are they setting for society?”
G. Ashok Kumar, former district collector of Nizamabad, said, “In 2001, Veilpur was declared a child labour free mandal, followed by surrounding mandals. People participated and owned the movement. Villages came out with signboards “no child labour exists in this village, even after 20 years those mandals are child labour free.”
He said, “To make one city or village child labour free, people should be educated and sensitised about this burning issue. People should take ownership of such movements.”...