Press Esc to close
Sunday 07 February 2016
News updated at 2:02 AM IST
Weather
Max: 29°C
Min : 17°C
In Bengaluru
Partially cloudy

Child workers shun school to toil in Bellary's chilli fields

Siddaiah Hiremath, Bellary, Feb 9, 2012, DHNS:

The State government’s efforts to bring down dropout  rates in schools seem to have fallen short of expectations, and children from Siruguppa taluk toiling in the chilli fields of Bellary taluk stand testimony to this. 
Instead of attending schools, children in the age group of 10 to 14 years from Tekkalakote and other villages in Siruguppa taluk work as agricultural labourers.As a result, schools in the area have registered a considerable decline in attendance.The fields in Siruguppa taluk are irrigated by water from the Tungabhadra right bank canal and they reap two paddy crops in a year. However, due to poor rainfall this year, farmers could not harvest the summer crop.

Poor rainfall and the resultant crop failure have forced the farmers to travel to Bellary taluk to pluck chillies in the fields for a living.  The agrarian distress has forced not only farmers, but also their schoolgoing children to accompany them to the chilli fields.

Every day hundreds of children are dumped like cattle in goods carriage vehicles, flouting all norms of safety and taken to the chilli fields in the taluk.
“Although students in the age group of 10 to 14 years are working in the fields as daily wage workers, they are given attendance in the school. 
Thus, even as they are promoted to the next class, they struggle to write, read and comprehend,” said Basavaraj, member of an NGO at Tekkalakote. Employing children below 14 years of age is an offence and punishable under law. However, poverty at home forces parents to take their children with them to the fields to work, as it helps them augment the family income, he added.

Children are also paid Rs 125 as daily wages, the same as their parents. Farmers who are already under duress due to crop failure, find it convenient to take their children to work. It is a Herculean task to make the parents realise that taking their children out of school will jeopardise their future, said Basavaraj.
Advantage brokersApart from land owners, brokers and goods carriage drivers stand to benefit from the vulnerable state of the farmers.

The brokers get a commission of Rs 10 for every agriculture labourer brought to the land owners. Similarly, vehicle owners get a commission of Rs 30 for transporting farmers to the fields.

“If the children continue to be employed as agricultural labourers and are deprived of education, a fundamental right, the future of the district appears bleak. The Labour and the Education Departments should act at the earliest and ensure that the children are back in the schools” said residents of Tekkalakote.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
CRPF women wing showing their skills at Lucknow Mahotsav on Saturday...

CRPF women wing showing their skills at Lucknow Mahotsav on Saturday...

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrating the first birthday of his daughter Ziva...

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrating the first birthday of his daughter Ziva...

Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community attend the 'Pride March'...

Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community attend the 'Pride March'...

Guest lecturers staged a protest in front of District in charge minister Qamarull Islamaaos house...

Guest lecturers staged a protest in front of District in charge minister Qamarull Islamaaos house...

Participants perform yoga during the “Yoga Festival celebration of Peace & Harmony”...

Participants perform yoga during the “Yoga Festival celebration of Peace & Harmony”...

Indian swimmer Shivani Kataria shows her gold medal that she wom in women's 200-metre freestyle...

Indian swimmer Shivani Kataria shows her gold medal that she wom in women's 200-metre freestyle...

Gold Medal winner Priyanka Singh of India (C), silver medal winner SPS Niroshani of Sri Lanka (L)...

Gold Medal winner Priyanka Singh of India (C), silver medal winner SPS Niroshani of Sri Lanka (L)...

Gold medal winner Harshdeep of India, silver medal winner Chamari Mendis...

Gold medal winner Harshdeep of India, silver medal winner Chamari Mendis...

India's Guru Raja competes to win gold in the 56 kg men's weightlifting event...

India's Guru Raja competes to win gold in the 56 kg men's weightlifting event...

Gold medal winner in 30 kilometre cycle race Bidyalaxmi Tourangbam (C), silver medal winner Chaoba..

Gold medal winner in 30 kilometre cycle race Bidyalaxmi Tourangbam (C), silver medal winner Chaoba..

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523