Wordsworth has said: ‘’ the child is the father of the man.’’ Children are our future. Today children are the adults of tomorrow. Now when they are so important, we must realize what we are doing for them. But child labor is an evil prevailing everywhere. Have we succeeded in providing them the basic necessities of life such as education and health care? Although the Government, Non- Government Organization, and other organizations are busy solving the problem of child labor, yet nothing seems to have come out of their work. Poverty is the main cause of failure. The poor parents are forced to push their children into practical life at an early age. Such children face a life of hardship and deprivation. Another cause is the exploitation of children by the industrialist and feudal. They have to pay less for the children.
Children can be seen working everywhere. Most of the children are 8 to 10 years of age. They work in a small industrial workshop, office boys, and staff assistants. They are seen cleaning cars parked on roads, polishing shoes, selling goods, and many other such odd jobs. Little girls are seen in homes, scrubbing floors, washing clothes, furbishing utensils, and looking after little babies. There are about two million Families in Pakistan living in bondage in various sectors. Of these nearly eight million are children. The main sector in which children are made to work are the agriculture sector, the brick kiln industry, carpet weaving, and domestic service. These children earn money for their families. They are to work from eight to twelve hours a day. They are maltreated. They are deprived of the joy of childhood. They cannot go to school to get an education. Because of continuous overwork, they fall a victim to various diseases. Most of them suffer from malnutrition, and as such die an early death. If the survive these hardships, they live a life of misery. This is a very deplorable situation.
The government and non-government organizations should take some steps to tackle this problem of child labor. The government should enact a comprehensive law for the elimination of child labor from its very roots. It should create the welfare of children. It should declare that child labor below fifteen years of age is a criminal offense. Non-government organizations must support people’s struggle for justice and emancipation. They should supplement the government’s efforts for the welfare of children. They should work to influence and encourage rich people to donate funds for building hospitals, clinics, and the purchase of medicines for children. Child labor is a curse. We must work to get rid of it at all costs. Our children need education rather than work.
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