Introduction

This chapter tells us about the horrors of child labour and the various organisations in India who are tirelessly working to rid society of this evil. We learn about child rescue helplines, government projects to eliminate child labour, and non-government organisations who help poor children across the country.

Child Labour

Romesh was fourteen years old. He left his widowed mother and three younger sisters back in Bihar and went to Hyderabad. On reaching the city, he realised that finding a job was not easy. Suffering from hunger, he joined a group of rag pickers. He worked all day only to earn Rs. 10. Life was very difficult.

Luckily, he got a helping hand from “The Child Line” when some rescuer called the 1098 helpline. Romesh now benefits from the Andhra Pradesh State based project for the Elimination of Child Labour.

Many children are forced into child labour due to domestic violence and poverty. Shanti, a nine-year-old, was taken out of school by her parents and sent to Hyderabad to work in a middle-class home. She suffered all day- cooking, moping, cleaning and washing clothes. 

The owners locked her up in a tiny room when they went out. She stayed alone and wept. As a direct result of awareness campaigns, the neighbours informed the “Child Labour Enforcement Team.” She was rescued and is now in a girls’ transit home.

Child Rights and You (CRY)

Child Rights and You (CRY) is an organization that believes that children are citizens and have their own rights. At CRY, they do not run schools or orphanages. Instead, they partner with some basic level organizations working for children, their parents and communities.

CRY’s role is creating a bridge between child developmental organizations and people working for marginalized children. They gather the support, money and time of Indians around the world and field workers across India who struggle to enrich the lives of children.

CRY has freed more than 1 lakh children from hunger, exploitation and illiteracy in more than 13000 villages and slums. It has prevented child labour in 648 villages and liberated 1152 villages from child marriages. 21, 676 of its rescued children have joined schools. 

Save our Soul (SOS)

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental, social development organisation that provides family-based care for children in India since 1964. It deals with the concerns, rights and needs of children. More than 6000 children and young people live in 33 SOS Children’s Villages and 27 SOS Youth Facilities in India.

At SOS Children’s Villages, every child grows up in a strong family environment. Their work helps families create a loving, caring home. It strengthens families, helping them stay together during difficult times and provide the best possible care to their children.

SOS Children’s Village experts help families develop a wide range of skills, from house-hold budget planning and getting a job to bonding with a child or young person and creating a stable family life at home.

Conclusion

Child labour is an evil that must surely be eradicated from society. If we see any instances of child labour, we must immediately inform the concerned authorities so that these children can be rescued and given back their childhood.