Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-

Child labour: A bitter truth

SG Damle 
 Nair Hospital Dental College, Dr. A. L. Nair Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008, India

Correspondence Address:
S G Damle
Nair Hospital Dental College, Dr. A. L. Nair Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008

How to cite this article:
Damle S G. Child labour: A bitter truth.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2006;24:172-172

How to cite this URL:
Damle S G. Child labour: A bitter truth. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2006 [cited 2021 Apr 20 ];24:172-172
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Full Text

The central government's latest regulation on child labour came into effect on 1st October 2006, prohibiting employment of children as domestic servants in dhabas (roadside eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, teashops, resorts, spas or in other recreational centres. The prohibition was brought into force by including these places in the list of hazardous occupations, where child labour is already prohibited. The ban has been imposed under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. In India nearly 14% of the children below the age of 14 years are involved in some form of child labour. These children are subjected to physical violence, psychological trauma and at times even sexual abuse. It is unfortunate that invariably such incidents go unnoticed and unreported as they take place in the close confines of the household. These children are made to work for long hours and are made to undertake various hazardous activities severely affecting their health and psyche. Even though the ban on child labour is existent in India since 1986, child labour continues to plague India. It is worth arguing that, the latest action of the central government too might be ineffective in curbing the menace of child labour, similar to the earlier plans and schemes. It has to be kept in mind that simply banning child labour completely will not serve the purpose, because of the socio-economic profile of the children involved. Most of them belong to a totally marginalized and poverty stricken community. The children often have to work to provide financial support to their family. For real change to occur, the root causes of child labour have to be addressed, causes like poverty, lack of a coherent education policy, insufficient schools, marginalization, migration etc. If we ban child labour completely without proper rehabilitation and economic concern of such children and their families, it may lead to other kinds of social problems, like delinquent behaviour. Therefore, a comprehensive plan has to be developed taking into consideration the rehabilitation, education, vocational training, etc. of these destitute children.

Unless the underlying causes of child labour are addressed, and the rights of the children secured, Indian children will remain prone to the scourge of child labour.