The future of a community is in the well being of its children. The above fact is beautifully expressed by Wordsworth in his famous lines “child is father of the man”. So it becomes imperative for the health of a nation to protect its children from premature labor which is hazardous to their mental, physical, educational and spiritual development needs. It is urgently required to save children from the murderous clutches of social injustice and educational deprivation, and ensure that they are given opportunities for healthy, normal and happy growth.
The venerable Indian poet Rabindranth Tagore has said time and again, that every country is absolutely bound by its duty to provide free primary education to its children. It is important to remember that industrialization can afford to wait but youth cannot be captured for long. It is imperative that the basic tenet made in article 24 of the Indian constitution – prohibiting the employment of any child below fourteen years of age, in a factory, mine or any other hazardous employment be stopped – be adhered to. There should be no ambiguity in ensuring the right of every child to free basic education and the promise of the constitution should be fully implemented in the here and now. Projects related with human resource development, dedicated to the child welfare issues must be given top priority by the central and state governments to stop the menace of child labor. Child labor laws need to be strictly implemented at the central and state levels. Corruption and negligence in child labor offices and employee circles should be dealt with very strictly by the judiciary and the police force.
Child labourers are exploited, exposed to hazardous work conditions and paid a pittance for their long hours of work. They belong to the unorganized labour force.
The Constitution of India says that:
(a) No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any hazardous employment (Article 24) (b)...