There is an old saying that goes 'The child is the father of the man' it simply translates that childhood is the formative period when a man's character is shaped, traits are built and values inculcated. Quality of life at this stage assumes great importance in the light that today's children are tomorrow's adults and would soon be key players or movers and shakers as we call them in the great new world all of us dream of. Unfortunately children as a segment remain a rather neglected and deprived lot in a fast and adult centric world which views everything from its own misconceived perception. Deprivation takes the form of lack of quality time with family, absence of personalized love and a sympathetic ear in the affluent countries while in the third world it is symbolized more starkly in terms of being denied basics like food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education. What is worse is that in the under developed countries children are not just neglected but actively exploited as a means of cheap labour.
Child labour is a crime against humanity, it is an inhuman practice that stunts the physical and mental growth and stifles the free roaming spirit of the child and simply goes against nature. Worse still the victims are too young to even comprehend that they are being exploited. It is among the most serious social issues facing the world today and also among the most complicated. As a practice child labour has existed since time immemorial, in a typical agricultural economy like India a man's worth in the olden days was measured in terms of the number of children he had as more children meant more hands to work in the farm and more produce to be reaped. While this was not certainly desirable, one should also consider that the children could have done little else if they were not working in their father's farm as there were no schools to attend during these times, besides they were not overly burdened with work and fairly well cared for in terms...
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