India’s poverty problem sees children 'caught in the crossfire' – they are forced into child labour so that they can serve as assets to the family. Despite a 2006 amendment to the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act that ambitiously aims to cover lakhs of child labourers below the age of 14, poverty has still ensnared India's children into child labour. This has made the role of non-governmental organizations and civil society even more important. Below we discuss some ways and means through which NGOs contribute to ending child labour in India.
NGOs are constantly sensitizing trade organizations to end this social evil, and locals have been made vigilant to report instances of child labour at businesses. Thousands of children are still toiling for 14-16 hours a day, in labour intensive professions such as farming, stone cutting sector, mining industry, and zari and embroidery works. Child labour is reportedly highest among Scheduled Tribes, Muslims, Schedule Castes and OBC children, despite aggressive reservation policies favoring this demographic. NGOs like Save the Children are strategizing meticulous projects to address this issue.
Save the Children has run elaborate campaigns such as ‘action/2015’ and ‘Every Last Child’ with an aim to make child rights important in India's collective psyche. In the action/2015 campaign, the message of hope was broadcast by children – over 4 lakh sent postcards, and 16 lakh acted online to push the government for a better India. The organization interacts directly with the vulnerable communities, driving home the importance of children staying away from any form of labor.
Disruption in schooling and lack of parental care creates an environment where child trafficking and subsequent enrollment into labour grows rampant, which means NGO's intervention cannot be undermined. India’s urban poor children, deprived of education often find themselves trapped in substance abuse or victims of abuse and exploitation. Save the Children ranks among an illustrious list of NGOs which have shown demonstrable capacity to make a difference to lakhs of kids. While civil society has vowed to unite and end child labour, there is an even stronger need to make this a people's issue. While officials and government can only institute policies, ignoring everyday child abuse and malnourishment must also be attacked at an individual level, wherever possible – so donate online and support this cause.
We are a registered Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Delhi.