Y.S. Rana,Chandigarh-Feb 27 : If child labour is a common crime, it also is the least punishable. Though laws do exist in this regards yet laws often flouted with impunity and children continue to be exploited in one way or the other. Eradicating child labour and rehabilitating them continues to be a thorny chore for the Administration.
Rose Festival, the annual feature of Chandigarh Administration, has ended in style and left with more promise and lot of hope for next year. There were visitors from all walks of life but there were some visitors of lesser God. Visitors have enjoyed the fragrance and blush of roses in their own way but these kids who did not have the time to smell fragrance of roses.
It was not uncommon to see children of tender age selling balloons, toys, polishing shoes and simply begging. But it was also tragic and apathetic to see a small child was forced to perform on a tight rope for family bread during the festival and all was happened in the full view of bureaucrats and protectors of laws.
The violent swings and jerks could do considerable harm to the child’s body and mind. Yet, her father who belonged to Rajasthan saw it the other way. He said that the child would grow into healthy, if poor, acrobat in future.
Is there anyone who can do something to get these children out of this miserable life? Ask the parents what would happen if the child gets hurt. “Who bothers,” was the curt reply. “We are destined to die on the rope.”
Implementation of laws is a basic necessity of the administration and the primary duty to eradicate child labor. India continues to host the largest number of child laborers in the world. More than 32 per cent “nowhere children” who do not go to school are largely engaged in economic activities.
Maybe those who day in and day out swear by uplifting the downtrodden have some answer to this child’s predicament. Sometimes questions are more important than answers.