Guwahati, Monday, October 13, 2014
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Poverty adding to child labour in Dhubri district

A child worker in a bidi factory
 GOLAKGANJ, Oct 12 – Child labour assumes the gravity of a social problem as it arrests or distorts the natural growth process and prevents the child from attaining its all-round development. In Dhubri district, abject poverty has forced the parents to send their children to seek employment because their earning is essential for the survival of the family. Parents are not only incapable of investing in their children’s development due to poverty but also are reluctant to support them and want them to start earning from an early age.

 The problem of child labour in Dhubri is accentuated by a plenty of causes. When adults are unable to get themselves employed, there is no option left except to depend on their children’s employment. Employees prefer child labour because it is cheaper and they save on the wage bills.

It is a fact that children are more obedient, submissive, ready to do all types of work, cannot organize union, do not demand overtime and are more needy and active. Illiteracy and ignorance of parents is also responsible for child labour in the district. Many underdeveloped areas, including the char areas, in the district are still deprived of modern scientific education.

Large families with low income often fail to provide protected childhood. For them, more children means more income. In Dhubri, hotels and factories mostly employ child labour.

Regarding child labour, sources in the Assistant Labour Commissioner’s office at Dhubri said that majority of the guardians do not like to disclose the real scene and they often state that their children are not engaged anywhere as workers. Such explanations create a huge obstruction in sorting out the child labour problem in the district, the sources added.

Unfavourable conditions at home, tensions, parent separation, illness, physical unfitness, etc., are some of the factors that have been identified as the root causes for the rising cases of child labour in the district.

According to Samol Sannal, chief convenor of the Dhubri Bikash aru Pragati Mancha, a social organisation of Dhubri, the number of child labour has been increasing inordinately day by day. “What is needed at this hour is proper preventive measures by the Labour Commissioner to weed out the menace of child labour,” he added.

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