Photographs lend voice to their dreams, hopes and realities

Photographs lend voice to their dreams, hopes and realities

To help children come out of the trauma that child labour inflicts and propel society and citizens aware to deal appropriately with this harsh reality, CRY recently took an initiative, along with Philips, wherein volunteers, interns and eminent photographers along with the children themselves participated in ‘Open Your Eyes: Click Rights’, to show what victims of child labour have to go through, their dreams and their realities.

Child labour is one issue that demands tremendous amount of hard work from the society as a whole in order to eradicate this crime. The problems persists even in the farthest corners of the world, yet with a population on 10.1 million child labourers in the age group of five to 14, India accounts as having the largest share of child workers.

Employment of children is not only reprehensible as it sees growing children work like slaves, but also because it snatches their childhood away from them. In modern day India poverty teamed with social insecurity and the constantly increasing gap between the rich and the poor, is among the main causes of child labour.

“Child labour is a vicious cycle where the employers themselves are illiterate on a majority of issues and have at some point of time been child labourers, which is the reason that this issue is mostly prevalent in the unorganised sector which is unregulated and exploitative,” says Soha Moitra, regional director, north, Child Rights and You (CRY).

There are rights and there are laws which pledge to fight against Child Labour and eradicate it, but at the end of the day, there is still a Chhotu working on for more than eight hours on a roadside chai dhaba to earn himself a living. While more than 40 per cent of the associates of child labourers are aware of the laws and know that these children should attend school, most of them who are working are aged between 5-14 years, working for more than eight hours a day and without a single day’s rest.

The most spine-chilling aspect of the issue is that more than half of the population that engages these vulnerable children into this profession are aware of the legal action that they can be subjected to, but yet they continue to do so without any concern or fear of prosecution which is the light bearer of Child Labour. Employers reason out the employment of children as cheap form of labour, submissive, malleable and easily available.

In its efforts in Delhi, the organisation came out with some mind boggling images and recommendations to curb the problem. The child rights activists have demanded an Act to abolish all forms of child labour till the age of 18 and want the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act to be extended to all children up to 18 years of age. They have also demanded that the law should not legitimise home-based work and asks the Government to ensure a robust complaint and redressal mechanism.

“We are proud to be associated with CRY for their cause and feel privileged to spread awareness and stand up against Child Labour,” says Neeraj Sethi, CEO at PE Electronics limited.