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A Late Post For Blog Action Day

Because India is in the far east and is technically what is known as a developing country, westerners find it very hard to believe that many people here live in unimaginable comfort.  There are kids who have laptops, access to modern educational aids, smartphones, pizza delivery, digital television, even a fancy vehicle to move around in - you name it, they have it.

The very same kids often live in homes where there is flagrant use of child labour.  I kid you not.  Because of the profusion of dust, the harsh climate and a cooking system which is still quite labour intensive, pressure cookers notwithstanding, a housewife's work is never, ever done.  So for those who can afford it, domestic help is a must. 

Ideally, one should employ a mature adult woman to do one's housework and cooking.  However, mature adult women are at a distinct disadvantage.  They have husbands, children and mother-in-laws to look after. They can only come for a limited time every day and they always want more and more money.  Food is getting more expensive and medicines are not cheap either.  They are always arguing and haggling about their rate, usually because of dire necessity.

So how much nicer to employ a child.  They can come when their employer wants them.  They don't know their rights and don't yet have family responsibilities.  They can be ordered about and they can also be paid a lot less than an adult.  Perfect, don't you think?

No, I don't think so.  I think that next to sexual exploitation, the exploitation of children for cheap labour is a blot on the face of modern Indian society.  Children are often employed in bangle factories and firework factories where the conditions are awful and the hours are long.  Everyone agrees that yes, that's terrible. But the very same people will employ a child to work in their house on the grounds that it's better than begging in the streets.

Childhood is a time to play and learn, not to take responsibilities.  If a child, seeing the unfairness and the unequal distribution of wealth, has a moral lapse and steals from their employer, he or she is more often than not beaten and mentally and verbally abused.  Yet who can blame them?  While sweeping your floor or cooking your food, they see you enjoying a life of which they can only dream.  Who, in their right mind, could blame a child for that?  I couldn't.

I have lots of stories and could go on for a year and a day.  I'll tell more about this in another post.  But the reason I'm blogging about this subject right now is because it is a subject that is close to my heart.  Every child is not mine, but if I wouldn't like to see my child employed in someone's house to do domestic work, why would I employ someone else's?

In short, children should not be employed in people's homes to do domestic work. 


  1. Hello!

    Today I have published a Blog Action Day article about 4 remarkable women:
    Please stop by, read it, comment if you like and leave your link too!

  2. I so agree with you Maria. Childhood can never be given back once it is taken. So sad x

  3. This is beyond sad, Maria. Are there no child labor laws in India?

    There must be a better way.
    blessings ~ maxi

  4. Dave I visited. How did you get the link in? No idea.....

    Thanks Teresa.

    Maxi, yes there are but they are, to the best of my knowledge, relatively new and ignored a lot of the time.

  5. I entirely agree with you. It is a great pity that children are exploited this way.
    Childhoods should be for playing and learning.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  6. I am in total agreement with you that children should not be employed. I would like to carry this forward a bit and suggest that urban children should be compulsorily made to go out in the open to play games rather than stay indoors playing electronic games or watching TV.

  7. Thank you Maggie.

    And Ramana there's one thing that will always lure my boys outside provided the weather's okay and it's not a fancy gadget.Just a simple think called a ball....


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