Parents, employers think they are doing right by making children do jobs
KURNOOL: The burden of child labour problem is heavy in the backward Kodumur, Gonegandla and H. Kairavadi mandals of Adoni division. Nine-year-old Nagesh of Vemugodu village was employed by an owner of a sheep-flock for an annual salary of Rs. 8,000. Nagesh grazes 100 sheep from morning to evening.
Another boy Rangaswamy, who also takes care of 100 sheep, was employed by his maternal uncle for a pay of Rs.7,000 per annum. Bhasakar and Prabhakar were also shepherds. Twelve-year-old Degayya was employed by a farmer on a daily wage of Rs.35 for watering the field at H. Kairavadi.
All the boys never attended school, but enthusiastically did their jobs.
Most of the parents were under the impression that they were doing the right thing by engaging the child in a vocation. The employers too felt they were doing a great service to the poor families.
Creating awareness among poor parents and employers was more important than making an effort to educate the children. Ironically, the employers themselves were poor and worked in the fields of others after their work.