I wish a happy Diwali to my readers. Please take a moment and ponder over the aspects of burning of crackers. Does the generation in schools know why they are bursting crackers? Our kids get vacation during Diwali and the poor children who ,make crackers in factories have to work overtime before Diwali. We purchase crackers and the business of the factories run smoothly resulting these poor children continue exploited., diwali is the festival of lights. The money blown off in smoke on purchase of crackers could be put for a meaningful cause by charity or feeding the hungry especially help some poor families so that their children can gey education. I am not asking to change somebody else at least do what you feel in human. We light fire to a cracker remember there is a poor children whose education you could have funded with the money or you could have saved their childhood from working tirelessly. Diwali is the triumph of Good Over Evil. Auspicious Day! This is the most sacred festival, one among the most celebrated. Diwali in Hindu Culture marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. Child Labour in Jammu And Kashmir chaps are not alright. As the country celebrates Diwali child labour crisis increases day in day out. Children continue to work as labour to feed thir remaining family members. As the traffic policemen near Mirza Afzal Beigh Memorial Hospital (now the District Hospital) near Janglat Mandi Anantnag stops the traffic from Kokernag Side and allows traffic from anantnag side approximately twelve years old boy stops and peers into rolled up windows in his trademark expression of distress, coaxing commuters to buy a bunch of pens. This author on seeing this became attentive towards him, when one glass window lowers he began to handout one bunch. As our country celebrates the festival of colors but there is no thought among common people to eradicate this menace as it holds millions of children like the author found in Anantnag .As per the census 2011, 11.7 million children are employed in our country. As per report of Human Resource Ministry many children are yet out of schools. These out of school children are our future resources. Right To Education Act is a best step in this regard. There is no correct figure how many children are working as labours in our Union territory as different organizations have their own way of computing the actual number. Organizations related with the eradication in the country treat 14, 17, 16 years cutoff age for Child Labour Act. The Child Labour Act bans the employment of children upto 14 years. India in 1992 was the first country to join the International Programme of the Elimination Of Child Labour,it is a worldwide programme. Government has taken many good initiatives to eradicate the bad menace from the society yet many children are drafted into labour. The statistics on the bad menace is outdated resulting in wrong evaluation of the planning like the BPL(Below Poverty Line) survey done by department of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System Department of Jammu And Kashmir .
Prime reason for the child labour is the poverty that pushes the children to work at an early age. Other cause of child labour is drawn from Socio Economically marginalized communities. The unemployment combined with the discrimination, the children may face in schools pushes many children to work as labours. Urban children are more vulnerable. Girl children are largely engaged in running the household activites from a very early age. Proper and accurate data collection on child labour is essential for making effective policy. Our society will also play a role Author has spent almost one year in District Headquarter Anantnag. I have seen many kids working as child labour in many shops and business units and small factories operating in narrow lanes across the city. Children as young as 11 years of age work tirelessly from 9 am to 7 pm with an hour long lunch in between. There is another one example of a boy who comes twice or thrice in DC Office Anantnag during a week for selling books and other items. Once i enquired and he replied that I earn Rs 30 to 50 per day and went on saying my two cousin brothers are also doing the same work. My heart felt very sad and I reminded myself my own childhood. Being the member of the society I decide to write against this bad menace. He further explained that credit goes to Labour Commisioner who has ordered closure of business establishments especially shops on Sundays we got a respite on those days. There are many kilns in our Kashmir where a good number of kids are working as a bonded labour sometimes the labour contractors beat and harass them by many ways. Author met a boy at General Bus Stand Anantnag where a man is making chola puri and the boy assists him. I saw many children buying heaps of waste and carrying them from a large go down to the smaller godown. Child labour deprives the kids of their rights to going to school. It is the major barrier to education. Child labour results in extreme badly harm. It leads to slavery and economic exploitation. It cuts children off from schooling and good health care. These restrict them from their fundamental rights. It threatens their future. I always feel sorry for the workers in my city who go throughout day collecting garbage door to door and depositing it at a pickup point. These people live in horrible conditions. Governments have done much about the social issue. Passing Acts does not work well on our society, these need active implementation. Social participation of people is must. I salute Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will launch “Rozgar mela” a drive recruit 10 Lakh people on Oct 22. Gen Y should be made aware of why and how this sacred dy is celebrated traditionally that will be the true spirit of festival and should be well in eradicating this great menace.
(The author is incharge District Record Room DC Office Anantnag. The views, opinions, facts, figures, assumptions, presumptions and conclusions expressed in this article are author’s own and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon).