Child Labour, consisting of children below 14 years of age, is defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the type of work performed by children that deprives them of their childhood and their dignity, which hampers their access to education and acquisition of skills and which is performed under conditions harmful to their health and their development. Children are the greatest gift to humanity and the same gift is being misused for personal gains as child labour. They constitute 36% of India's population but a large majority of children in the age group of 5-14 years continue to remain in distress and turmoil. One in every five children below the age of 14 is a laborer. The flower (Child) withers before it blossoms.
Child labour is more a rural phenomenon than an urban phenomenon. Due to acute poverty poor families residing in rural areas send their children to urban areas for bread and butter. In urban areas, to survive in a cutthroat competition, manufacturers have lowered the real wages for adult workers in order to employ child workers on low wages. The problem is very much vast in its dimension. Children are forced to work in the most hazardous, unhygienic conditions.
In a country like India where over 40% of the population is living in conditions of extreme poverty, child labour is a complex issue. Some of the causes of child labour are: First Extreme poverty is the chief cause of child labour. The children either supplement their parent's income or are the only wage earners in the family. Second Child labour is deliberately created by vested interest to get cheap labour. Third Low level of parental education is also an important factor in determining the incidence of child labour. Fourth a majority of parents prefer to send their children to work rather than to school at the school-going age, primarily on account of their need for a supplementary income.
The role of media in elimination of child labour is one of the most...