No Age Bar for Working?

Rag pickers. Remember? People with those huge sacks, picking plastic covers and bottles and cans and what not; just throwing stuff from the dustbin to their whims and fancies in the process of searching for what they want, not bothering to even put the trash back; the whole idea of having a dustbin being lost? But today these people have found a different way to collect the trash- “the dumping ground” of course!

A few days back while passing by a dumping ground I saw three children who should have been attending school, but there they were, in the dump yard; one to lead and two to follow, insensitive to the fact that they could be affected by numerous health hazards ; with just one thing in mind :- MONEY. I really appreciate the spirit of these kids to work (who knows? It might have been thrust upon them), but in the dump yard? Where they should have been calculating maths sums, they are busy estimating the amount they can possibly earn. This is not the plight of just a few, but there are so many children, needless to say, who face this kind of hardship. People might excuse themselves quoting their economic and financial problems but they don’t realize that money can be earned at any point of time in life but education needs the right place and the right time.

In spite of the government making it compulsory for these kind of children to attend schools, they just don’t seem to be bothered about it. They don’t realize what wonders and miracles knowledge can do. In spite of the numerous awareness programmes conducted for preventing child labour, stressing on the need for education, they don’t realize its value. There was once a time when people longed to learn but there were not adequate facilities and now, at present, there are enough facilities for providing education but these children are distancing themselves from it. So unless and until they themselves realize the importance of education, unless they change their attitude, there is no end to child labour!

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