Today in our country, only 40 per cent of the total children go to school. What about the other 60 per cent of the children? What do they do? The answer would shock many. The bulk of our child population is employed in hazardous and menial jobs. We see them in hotels and dhabas (roadside eateries) as waiters, working in factories and in houses as domestic help.
The government has laid down no provision for them. Some of them, who are not even lucky to get a job, earn their living as rag pickers, sweepers, toilet cleaners etc. This is their age to read, write, play, go to school etc., but it is not so. They should also have an equal right to education and comfortable living as the other 40 per cent of the children have.
Take the example of Shravan Kumar who is employed in a fireworks factory. He is only 12 years of age. He makes crackers, bulbs, electric rods etc. This is the age to play, read and write, but he is helpless. He has a mother and four sisters to provide for. There are thousands of children like him who need attention and love.
The children are the future citizens of our country. If the bulk of our child population is in this pathetic condition, our country can’t progress. It is a bad example of our society and country. It is now up to us to do something for these children. We should co-operate with the government in finding a solution to this problem. It is a grave matter, which merits immediate attention.