When I am thinking about my final year elective project subject, I want to do something serious. Then first thing came in my mind is “construction worker’s children.” This subject is very close to my heart. Whenever I see these children, I feel very sorry for them. I always want to do something for them. In addition, this subject can give me opportunity to realistic illustration and give texture to background.
SELECTION CRITERIA OF SUBJECT
* India is changing and modernizing quickly, urbanization being the most visible aspect. New infrastructures are being built on a mass scale; malls and high-rise buildings are springing up overnight. The whole construction industry is at its boom. "But that boom is on the backs of the poor and lower castes who are building this new India," said Mridula Bajaj, former executive director of the NGO Mobile Creches.1 * Expanding and fast growing construction sector and, in general, lack of greater employment opportunity elsewhere has drawn large number of workers in this sector. According to Mobile Creches, approximately 35 million men and women work in this sector and they are entirely unorganized. In Mumbai alone, approximately one million men and women work in this sector. * How many children in India are living in such harmful area? We can only imagine what kind of difficulty they face in day to-day life. * Other most important thing for selecting this subject is my special interest in realism. * From first year, I love Realistic drawing. Detailing in work fascinates me. * I feel this subject can give me that opportunity do show my skill in realism.
Children of the construction workers
A. Health problems
* The children living on construction sites often suffer from malnutrition, under nourishment, accidents, and innumerable health problems. * About 70% of children living on construction sites suffer from malnutrition, compared with the national average of 21 per cent. * The study also pointed out that in the absence of clean drinking water, flush latrines, cholera and other diseases spread quickly, and many people suffer coughs caused by inhaled paint fumes and cement particles. B.No crèche facility on the construction sites
* There is no system at all to take care of these children at work site despite the “Building and other construction workers (regulation of employment and conditions of service) Act, 1996, that stipulates that if more than fifty female workers are employed, rooms should be provided for the use of their children. * According to the Act, these rooms are supposed to be suitably large, well lit and ventilated, clean and sanitary and under the charge of women trained to care for young children but builders find various lacunae to get around these requirements. * Because of their family’s extreme poverty and also since their parents are constantly working – sometimes mothers go back to work a few hours after delivery – small children are left to fend for themselves and are wandering around the site all day long.
C. High rate of illiteracy
* Most of the children on construction sites are out of school children. They either stay at home or loiter around the construction site. * Different factors explain this high rate of dropout children, migration being the most important one. Indeed, the families frequently move from one place to another, making it difficult for the children to attend school regularly. * Some children were enrolled in their village’s school but were forced to drop out when moving to the city. * The lack of willingness to send their children to school is another factor. According to a survey conducted by Parham in the city of Thane, accessibility of school does not seem to be a major issue.
NGO’S WORKING FOR CONSTRUCTION CHILDREN
The lives of millions of children go by in the midst of poverty, abandonment, lack...