28 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/11/2008
INDIA
Education and learning against child exploitation, says Lenin Raghuvanshi
by Nirmala Carvalho
On World Day against Child Labour, the Indian activist calls for better schooling for everyone as the only solution to the problem. Some 55 million children live in slave-like conditions, especially among the lowest castes of society.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – “The only feasible path to solve the problem of child labour is to guarantee children a better level of education,” said Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), on the eve of “World Day against Child Labour” which is scheduled for tomorrow, 12 June.

In an interview with AsiaNews, the Indian activists and 2007 Gwangju Prize for human rights laureate said that “more than 55 million children are working in India,” mostly “from Dalit, Tribals and other backward castes in India” and “all out of school,” which is “cause for great concern.”

In spite of its booming economy, “India is still very much a patriarchal and caste-based society with gender discrimination.  The destructive effects of gender discrimination, patriarchal oppression and the semi-feudal society so prevalent in 21st century India are manifest in our 55 million children, employed at times in subhuman conditions.”

Many of these children are under the age of five and put their lives at risk for a miserly salary. Similarly, “a large fraction of these child labourers are working as slaves, bonded to their “jobs”, Lenin Raghuvanshi explained, with no means of escape or freedom, often stuck in their “job” until they repay their parents’ loans.

These children do a variety of things: silversmithing, tea farming, stone quarrying, cigarette making, fireworks, fishing, embroidery, and much more. An untold number is also forced to serve as domestics, shop boys, prostitutes, and involved in child trafficking. Many even end up mutilated and forced to beg.

Child labour is closely related to poverty and the lack of a proper education, especially when parents cannot first maintain their children. The situation is more complicated for girls, who live in a shadowy world, taking care of their younger siblings and helping their mothers in house chores rather than going to school.

“Education,” insisted the Indian activist, “is a fundamental right of the child, and the government is preparing a reform that would make education free until the age of 14 in accordance with Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.”

For him “the entire education policy should be geared towards providing children with quality education without discrimination. Instead caste, gender and corporal punishment are still responsible for an early dropout rate, which forces children into the child labour market.”

In Raghuvanshi’s opinion, the “Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act should be improved to prevent atrocities and discrimination against backward classes and provide more resources.” But is needed above all is “a cultural change that eliminates the tragedy of child labour at its roots”.

In 2004 the Indian activist “adopted” three villages and a suburb in a trial project called “Jan Mitra Gaon” or “people-friendly village” that included the reopening of primary schools, the end of forced labour, making education for girls compulsory and the adoption of non-traditional education practices.

In vast areas of the Indian countryside primary education is non-existent, but the PVCHR was able to open educational facilities for children in 45 villages.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/06/2007 INDIA
Spe Salvi asserts human dignity, says Indian human rights activist
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/09/2004 ASIA
Child illiteracy and child labour are the continent's main social ills
05/18/2010 INDIA
Dantewada: Naxalite Maoists attack bus, killing 45 people
07/01/2008 INDIA
More than 1,500 people die of torture in Indian prison, human rights activist says
by Nirmala Carvalho
08/28/2007 INDIA
War against supermarkets that destroy the economy of the poor
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.