‘Delhi child labourers sweat out more than 8 hours with no rest day’

Updated - November 17, 2021 11:22 am IST

Published - July 30, 2014 04:35 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A young child serving food from his make shift roadside eatery in New Delhi. A file photo: Sushil Kumar Verma.

A young child serving food from his make shift roadside eatery in New Delhi. A file photo: Sushil Kumar Verma.

India continues to host the largest number of child labourers in the world with more than half of Delhi’s working children forced to work more than 8 hours a day without a single day’s rest.

This was found in a survey done and released in New Delhi on Wednesday by child rights non government organisation Child Rights and You (CRY) (in partnership with Philips).

The survey which is released on the closing of CRY’s Click Rights Campaign `Open Your Eyes and help make India Child Labour Free’, is an attempt to sensitise citizens- and duty-bearers- out of their inertia, to open their eyes to the grim reality of child labour.

To substantiate the grim reality of child labour, a rapid assessment of the knowledge, attitude and practice of 300 employers of child labour in the unorganised sector was done.

The findings point to apathy, absence of any form of regulation and illiteracy amongst employers themselves.

Also through photos clicked by CRY volunteers, interns, eminent photographers, and most interestingly working children themselves, the survey has tried to take stock and find out where we stand, as a country, after having made a commitment to progressively eliminate child labour, a quarter of a century ago.

Speaking about the survey, Soha Moitra, regional director (north) CRY said: “ This is a vicious cycle where employers themselves are illiterate and have at some point been child labourers; the lack of education forces them into the unorganised sector which is unregulated and exploitative.’’

“Children, the most vulnerable segment are the ones who are worst affected by this as they can work long hours, at a very low cost and have absolutely no safety nets,’’ she added.

Meanwhile, the last leg of the campaign was marked by a photo exhibition in different parts of the city and launch of a photobook capturing the dreams and realities of children in labour, which consists of photographs clicked by child labourers and photographers. This was showcased here on Wednesday as part of the survey release.

WHAT THE CRY FINDINGS SAY

*51 per cent of the sample employs children in 5-14 years, when these children should be in school

* 47 per cent of respondents were aware of the law, this has not deterred them from employing children.

*More than half (52 per cent) are aware of legal action, there is no fear of prosecution and therefore child labour persists.

*Maximum sample size employs children because it is a cheap form of labour, submissive, easily available and they obey orders.

*In the 15-18 age group close to 80 per cent of children work more than 8 hours a day without getting any weekly off/holidays.

*Child labour is prominent (75 per cent) in tea stalls/dhabas or small shop as there is complete lack of regulation of working conditions in this segment.

*Almost 70 per cent employers are aware of the term child labour but they continue to employ children

*32 per cent of the sample employs children in the age group of 5-14 years whereas 65 per cent prefer working children in the age group of 15-18 year.

*Only 26 per cent of the sample is aware about minimum age of employment.

*41 per cent of the sample is aware that children are those below 14 years, they continue to employ them.

*41 per cent employers in the sample have never been to school or have received education until elementary level only.

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