As we celebrate World Day Against Child Labour on May 12, our favorite television actors talk about different ways to prevent child labour and help the flow of good quality education among under-privileged children.
Rashami Desai: When I see any child working I see failed administration because child labour is totally unconstitutional. In the vast country like India human rights are just on paper. We have failed as a nation to secure birth and natural rights for every child.Children should be studying and not working at a tender age. Retaining innocence is important. Child labour kills their individuality.
Divayajyotee Sharma: Kids are the future of our country and they must be loved and cared for. Quality education is a must for them, if we want to country to prosper. It is so sad to see how people ignore this and have no empathy for little children, who come from poor homes. They are made to work like slaves. My heart goes out to these children. Child labour should be completely banned and if a family is caught with a child working, they should be punished. People should be aware of this malpractice and warned against it.
Jayashree Venketeramanan: We have been hearing about child labour being punishable since so long. But we are yet to follow this as a law. I see so many kids working at construction sites or at Dhabas. I think the first step starts with us, adults, We need to stop hiring children. Instead, help them get the right kind of education. It’s just sad when kids are seen picking garbage or cleaning a table at a dhaba. The government, too, needs to start taking stringent action and employing small groups to keep a regular check on such activities.
Ramman Handa: Childhood is the only pure stage of life when we are untouched by jealousy, pride or lies. That’s why in India we consider kids as being the nearest to God and even worship them during Navratras and on many other occasions. Nobody has the right to ruin a kid’s childhood. And child labour does that. My blood boils when I see kids working on the roads or at restaurants. I can relate to them as I started working at the age of 12. Although it was my decision, it was still tough. I used to take painting classes. While it was my passion, I think I missed a part of my childhood in doing so. As a modern citizen of my country, I appeal to everyone to contribute 1 INR towards children education fund of our government and teach kids wherever and whenever you can.
Dalljiet Kaur: It’s very sad to see the little kids work at such a tender age. It’s easy for us to say it’s wrong but circumstances get them to do what they do. I think each one of us can help prevent this. I have seen people hold roadside classes for beggar children, which seems to be a great start. Education is the base of everything and we should try to help children to get this education, so they can take an informed decision about their future. I, too try to provide food to roadside kids, whenever I can.
Manish Wadhwa: In India, kids are considered as God and that they are special. We make them work and we watch suffering at their jobs. Are the people who hire them, so incapable of working that, they employ kids? The first solution to stop this atrocity is education and awareness. The government should look ensure that no kid is forced to beg and work. If someone sees a child working somewhere, they must report it and strict action must be taken against the employers.
Shweta Basu Prasad: Child labour is a serious crime and children should be encouraged to study and get quality education and have a normal childhood. They are not meant to work like slaves. I discourage kids from working on roads, stations and small restaurants. I think the solution to stop child labour in India is to have a strict law in place. The punishment should be strict so that it’s not repeated. I used to be a child actor, but my parents stopped me from working and wanted me study and lead a normal life. A lot of child actors work day in and day out and miss school. They often fail in their exams as they are working continuously for 16 to 20 hours a day. I was lucky that I had parents who never thought of making use of my child star image.
Karan Singh Chhabra: Child labour is definitely not good as it hampers the growth and personality development of a child. Since children are the future of our country, so indirectly we are trying to stop the growth of the country. We are also taking away the right of a child to learn and get educated. Whenever I see a kid working, I ask him what is he doing and which condition is in. I also try to connect them to an NGO called Aisect. They have a project called the Baal Kala Kar, which promotes education for under privileged kids.
Shakti Arora: I am strictly against child labour. I think a child should enjoy his or her childhood. I also think that if they work at this age they lose all their cuteness and innocence and they go in the wrong direction. I think every child should go through the normal process of schooling, college and then working. They should be educated. And I also think that anyone sees any child working around the area they should report immediately to the concerned authority.
Sara Arfeen Khan: Child labour disgusts me. Children need to me in an environment of learning, they need to build the foundation of greatness through knowledge. Making children work is taking away the opportunity to build the foundation of their life.