#WorldDayAgainstChildLabour: Celebs share it’s painful to see young children working

Child labour is among one of the pressing issues of the world that needs immediate attention. June 12 is observed as World Day Against Child Labour that raises awareness around the issue and also urges people to work towards its prevention. Celebrities share concern and also speak about how painful it is to see children working on roadside shops, stations, factories, among others:

Chitra Vakil Sharma
Depriving children of their childhood is one of the greatest cruelties. The phenomenon of child labour is still far from being defeated. Children are often made to work in a dangerous environment which affects them physically and mentally. It breaks my heart to see children who are my daughters’ age working for their daily livelihood and not being able to get the education they deserve. This not just destroys their present but also takes away their future from them. I think the punishments for child labour should be way more severe for both the parents who make their children work and the employer who disregards the rules and hires them for these petty jobs.

Samyukta Singh
“Children should be given a pen to write not a dish to wash ” They are meant to be nurtured ,fed , and educated not used and abused. I have personally almost reported a child working at a friend’s house. I won’t take any names but was told that the child’s parents were both sick and he was at least at a decent house with decent people with food and love, so I changed my mind. I am against child labour but seeing them begging on the streets is much much worse and child prostitution is one of the worst crimes in my eyes Where will it stop ? I don’t know. Unfortunately the majority of our country is below the poverty line. But what can I say as when I had gone offering pencils and books to street kids they had turned around and asked me for money. I have decided years back that I will one day adopt a child and that promise I will anyhow fulfill. We had had a children’s day lunch in my earlier restaurant for the farmers girls. Their orphanage is in Nashik. I plan to visit them next month again

Balraj Syal
Children are the future of our nation and their childhood and innocence is destroyed when they all do that labour work at such a young age. At the age where they should be going to school, they should be writing and reading, they are washing utensils, picking litter, etc. Child labour is a crime but people are still doing it because the laws are not very strict. I feel stricter laws should be imposed and people who are employing these small kids, and the parents who are making these kids go through hell should be punished as well.

Yagya Bhasin
It’s very wrong to forcefully make a child work and deprive them of their educational and health rights in the process. It’s unfortunate that there are still some people in this world who make this happen. I tried to make them happy and understand that tomorrow will be yours and that the future will be good and a happy ending for them. Whenever I meet such children, I give them gifts. Once when I was going for my dubbing in Andheri, I saw a boy serving tea to some people. So I brought him some food and made sure he ate some of it.

Nivedita Basu
I don’t encourage child labour. When I go to someone’s houses and see helpers who are under 18, I always tell them that it’s okay that children are helping their parents at home as long as they are studying. Education nowadays in India is also not that big a deal. Lots of schools offer free education. It’s the choice of parents and kids that they have to make to make them study and become self-sufficient. Doing hardcore labour is not acceptable. This is not their age, it is destroying their innocence and youth. I know it’s easier said than done. On my part, I take my child to an orphanage nearby where street kids also visit some days. I give them copies and pencils. I can’t single-handedly change the world and their mindset overnight but in our own small way I feel we together can make a big difference, encourage them to study.

Maninee De
I am absolutely against child labour. A child is supposed to be given the opportunity of living their childhood. That phase of life which is the building block defines who they are going to become. Those years are absolutely precious and they should not be forced into any kind of labour. Yes, the circumstances of a family forces children but it is the cruellest thing. As a parent, I would think that it is the worst nightmare for a parent to see their children work in stations and restaurants. It breaks my heart when they are not given the right education and are forced to become the earning members of a family. We mustn’t bring children to this world if we can’t look after them. I feel that child labour is one of the heinous crimes against children. I always feel that may God give me so much that I can extricate these children out of these places and look after their education and upbringing. Someday my dream will come true. We must all get together and create a society that doesn’t allow children to become adults before their time

Aditya Deshmukh
It’s a serious crime and even today it is happening all over the world. Especially in India. When you see a child working at a very young age. It is not acceptable that children should study and get a good education, they should be with their friends and play around, watching cartoons. This is their age to enjoy exploring through their hobby. What do we do? Ask them to sweep the floor, be a helping hand for their father in shops or serve idli, wadas in the morning. It pokes us really badly that this is not done and this can’t be acceptable. Somebody should take a stand and though it is abolished someone should tell their parents. I sometimes see when a child gets into acting the innocence is lost. Children working in a restaurant as a waiter or begging on streets have been forced to do that and you can actually make it out. They have their school, friends and they have their childhood. Innocence goes missing. Childhood is the most precious thing in everybody’s life. Those are the only fond memories of our lives. I personally am really against child labour. It’s a very heinous crime.

Ajay Singh Chaudhary
It’s so shameful that people are employing small kids to do jobs for them and paying them absolutely nothing for what they do. I have heard that if they break something, they not just get beaten, they lose their day’s salary too. It’s not just roads or restaurants, even educated people get kids from small villages and make them work like their servants. Instead of giving them books, they give them mop. It’s a very sad situation. I feel it’s also because of poverty too that kids are made to go outside their homes and work.

Sudha Chandran
Well, on the onset, a, I don’t advocate child labour because I personally feel that that is the age when they have to learn to educate themselves. It’s very important for the children to get educated. If they get educated. They have a modern perspective towards life only when our society or our country will evolve. Secondly having said this, when you talk to these kids, like I have had a lot of interaction with the kids on the streets and I keep asking them, why don’t you all study? They say we do want to study but our economical or financial condition is so bad that we have to go out and earn for which I have no answer. I’m actually dumbstruck.I am at a loss of words because that is also a very important part of life. They have to run their house. I would still say that coming out and working as children is definitely, I would never ever want to advocate it and I don’t even want to see it but when the kids talk to you, they ask you a question, Madam Hamara ghar kaisa chalega? Which is a million dollar question. They say that If a child comes out, then our family is at least, then with our earnings, they get bread for two times, which I think is very heartbreaking. But at the same time it’s true. So, I want to appeal to all the state governments and the central government at large, the foremost thing they need to look into is giving education to the children. And they also say I come across a lot of children who say, Ma’am, our economical or financial condition is so bad that we can’t study, there is no job, how will we earn again? That’s why we have to do this labor. I think it’s very important. It’s a very big hard hitting truth which all of us need to look into. First and foremost we have to create schools for kids to study. And once they study, it’s very important that we also give them employment opportunities for them to earn and then can we start a campaign against child labour.