Citizens' Issues
Why education does not interest child workers
These are some of the key findings of a study conducted by Save the Children, a child-rights organisation working with socially-excluded children
 
A study by a rights group shows that 8,044 children (aged five to 17) are estimated to be working in the garment industry in eight wards of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
 
Of these, 87 percent were working in household units and 13 percent at addas (small-scale commercial units).
 
Of them, 82 percent said that given an opportunity, they would not like to attend school.
 
These are some of the key findings of a study conducted by Save the Children, a child-rights organisation working with socially-excluded children.
 
As many as 92 percent of children working in household units were enrolled in schools, but 22 percent said they were not interested in education. In addas, children were either not enrolled or did not attend schools.
 
About 78 percent of children knew about their right to free and compulsory education, and they also knew that child labour is illegal. Yet, 92 percent said they were happy with their work. It is possible the children did not say what they really felt, as the study noted, or they knew little of a world they had never experienced or were happy to be earning at that age. 
 
But, more than 40 percent of the respondents did not want to continue in the profession and said they would like to pursue medicine, engineering and law - if they ever got the chance.
 
More children work in India than anywhere else
 
With Kailash Satyarthi shareing the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against child labour, there has been renewed attention on the issue in India, which has 11.7 million child workers, according to Census 2011, the most of any country.
 
There are 168 million child labourers aged 5-17 years worldwide, which is 11 percent of the world’s child population, according to an International Labour Organization report.
 
India accounts for the largest number of child labourers worldwide with 11.7 million, according to the 2011 census.
 
The study found children working in three districts: East Delhi, South Delhi and South East Delhi. Children under the age of 14 cannot be employed under Indian law.
 
Most of the children who worked in garment units had migrated from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Of the 170 children surveyed, 102 were girls. More than 60 percent worked because their families needed the money.
 
A childhood lost to skilled labour
 
Child labourers are exploited the most in addas. They work for 12-14 hours a day and mostly live at the work place. They visit their families once in six months or a year, depending upon the adda owners.
 
Children in household units enjoy a bit of liberty. They work for three to four hours a day, if enrolled in schools. If not enrolled, they work all day. The study found that 92 percent of children working in household units were enrolled in schools that they attended regularly.
 
Children in the garment industry worked at thread-cutting, stone-pasting, embellishment, embroidery, zari work, packaging and delivery. This includes skill, semi-skilled and unskilled work.
 
The majority of those in household units are paid less than Rs.500 ($8) per month. While their parents are paid, children sometimes are given money for their expenses. So, technically, children don’t get paid for the work they do. 
 
In addas, 45 percent of children get between Rs 2,501-Rs.5,000 per month and 45 percent get more than Rs.5,000 per month. Most of them get paid on the basis of pieces they make or work on.
 
The risks and abuse that they do not discuss
 
After 35 to 40 years, the body begins to give up, adda owners told researchers, with eyes and hands not as sharp as they once were. Children complain of body ache, back pain and weak eye sight, and they are always at risk from the sharp tools, cutters, needles and machines that they work with.
 
There is no medical assistance at household units or addas.
 
The Save The Children study reported some instances of physical, verbal and sexual abuse ataddas. While 11 percent children reported abuse at home workplaces, only 6 percent at addas complained of abuse.
 
That does not mean abuse is low. It is likely that reporting of abuse is low, with children possibly reluctant to even admit it to the research team. 
 

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Saradha scam: CBI grills Trinamool MP
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Ahmed Hassan Imran was on Friday again grilled by the CBI about his alleged financial transactions with the tainted Saradha group, an agency official said.
 
Imran is the editor of "Kalom", a vernacular daily that was owned by the Saradha Group till 2013 when it was bought by Kalom Welfare Association.
 
Quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) earlier too, Imran appeared at its office at the CGO complex here in response to a summons.
 
"We had summoned him for questioning in Saradha case," said a CBI officer.
 
Launched as a magazine, "Kalom" was turned into a daily newspaper after the Saradha group bought it in 2011.
 
The Enforcement Directorate which too is probing the case, had also interrogated him in August 2014 about his alleged financial transactions with the Saradha Group.

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In bulk of rural India, Rs5,000 is highest wage
This is the finding of the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 for Rural India released Friday that also shows that nearly 25% of the rural households still do not own a phone despite India boasting a telecom subscriber base of around a billion
 
For nearly 75% of the 17.9 crore (nearly 180 million) households in rural India, the monthly income of the highest-earning member is less than Rs5,000, ($83) even as close to 40% are landless and work as manual casual labourers for their daily bread, latest official data reveals.
 
This is the finding of the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 for Rural India released Friday that also shows that nearly 25% of the rural households still do not own a phone despite India boasting a telecom subscriber base of around a billion.
 
Also, among the the fortunate families that actually own land, the dependence on rains for their crops is rather high, with 25% having no access to irrigation, as pe the Census released by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
 
Only 8.29% of the rural households reported a member who was drawing more than Rs10,000 per month, while for 17.18% others the monthly earning was between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 per month.
 
The latest Census covered all the 640 districts in the country in a paperless manner, using some 640,000 electronic handheld devices. The government on Friday released only the provisional sdata of the socio-economic Census for rural India.
 
The Census seeks to provide useful data on households on various aspects of their socio-economic status -- housing, land-holding, education, women, the differently able, occupation, possession of assets, and members of scheduled castes and tribes. 
 
In a bid to target government schemes better and ensure they the intended beneficiaries alone, it also provides for automatic exclusion of families on the basis of 14 parameters as also automatic inclusion on the basis of five criteria.
 
"The progress which households in India have made, who are the ones who have qualitatively moved up in terms of quality of life -- a document of these will be an important input for all policy makers, both at the Centre and in the states," Jaitley said in releasing the Census.
 
"I am sure that with the enormity of the schemes and their reaches that all governments have, this document will form the basis of helping us to target groups to support in terms of policy planning," the finance minister added.
 
Based on 14 parameters for families -- which include criteria such owing a vehicle, possessing a kisan credit card, having a serving government member, drawing an income of Rs10,000 per month, or owing a refrigerator -- only 7.05 crore families (39.39%) stand to be excluded.
 
Similarly, based on five parameters -- households without shelter, those living on alms, manual scavengers, primitive tribals and legally released bonded labourers -- 16.50 lakh families are eligible for automatic inclusion.
 
At the same time, 10.69 crore (over 100 million) of rural families, or 60%, qualify for "deprivation" based on seven criteria -- which include those with one room, kuccha walls, no member in 18-59 age group, no literate adult above 25 years and landless households.
 
Among them, while 21.5% belong to scheduled castes or tribes, 23.5% are without a literate adulty above 25 years of age. This apart, 30% are landless households deriving a major part of their income from manual labour.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

1 year ago

The revelations here, at a time India is talking about moving forward and becoming a 5trillion dollar economy(from the present $2 trillion) and having 'achieved'per capita income of Rupees one lakh, are disturbing. Same day(July 4) there is an observation by a renowned columnist in a financial daily that "...So for him(PM Modi) development doesn't seem to mean growth any longer; it means distrbution" People like me who have been talking about 'distributive justice' also are wondering how Modi is going to match the thirst for growth with inclusive justice!

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