Poverty is the root cause of child labor in India. Because of the overwhelming poverty in the country the menace of child labor is increasing. Indian Constitution provides free and compulsory education for all children till the age of 14 years. Keeping in mind the escalating number of child labors in India and with the hope of eliminating the same, the Indian Government has enacted two acts – The Bonded Labor System Abolition Act 1976 and the Child Labor Regulation Act 1986. However, child labor is far from being eliminated from the country. Child labor is a grave and widespread setback which needed to be tackled as soon as possible.
It is a common sight to see underage children toiling in carpet making factories, glass blowing units, collecting fees in parking lots, sorting recyclables, picking crops, selling vegetables, working as vendors as well as working in small roadside restaurants and also making risky fireworks with the hands which should instead be holding pen and paper in school. According to various data there are approximately 50 million child laborers in India sweating day and night to earn income for their family.
As much as poverty is the root cause of child labor in India so also it has also been found that debt bondage of the parents at times push the children to work in factories to financially support their families. Work recruiters frequently employ the children from poverty stricken areas because they know that these children and their parents will readily agree to allow their children to work and earn for them. Another saddening fact is that, these children are paid scantily compared to their labor. Even though they work for lengthy period in unhygienic conditions they are paid less and their families depend on them for livelihood.
The Government of India has implemented The National Child Labor Project Scheme for the abolition of child labor in India. It has been implemented into 250 districts and 20 states of the country where the children who are employed in unsafe occupation are taken away to special schools. Once in special schools, education, nutrition, vocational training and healthcare facilities are made available for them. Once they have completed the course in the special schools they are then shifted to the mainstream educational system.