Fighting against Child Labour:
- Focusing on the issue of Child Labour in Cotton Fields, Ginning Mills & Brick Kilns, and other places where girls work
- Counseling the Parents
- Enforcement drives
- Mainstreaming the dropouts
- Distance Education – Open School/ University
Warangal, the capital of future State Telengana, is a hub of academic excellence with Kakatiya University and REC (I.I.T). But it has maximum number of child labour and is next to Mahabubnagar in child marriages. Particularly Girl Children are at the discretion of their parents who transform them within no time, into child labour. Stricken by poverty and driven by selfish motives of parents’ girls are being victimised. Girl child is looked at as a commodity and not as a human being. They are deprived of child and human rights. They have to struggle in hot sun, in hazardous conditions and they don’t get a penny out of this hard work and all the money goes to their parents and spent for the needs of their family. Most of them are dropped out from school forcibly by their parents and the remaining work in their school holidays. This is a small study done by Tharuni in the course of its campaign against Girl Child discrimination and protecting her rights. A small Photo Feature is presented here to get the exact picture of the situation and hopes to touch the hearts of the concerned officials and policy makers
THE SCENARIO AT GINNING MILLS:-
Warangal District is a major producer of cotton in the state of Andhra Pradesh. There are about more than 400 Ginning Mills in and around Warangal. In each Ginning Mill about 150 people work in shifts of 12 hours each. In each mill the workers are mostly women and children. It was found that at least 45 to 50 girl children are found working. They earn Rs.50 to Rs.70 if they work for 12 hours and it all depends on the availability of power as their wages are cut if the power goes. If a bag of cotton is opened and segregated they will get Rs 1.70 and this cotton is fed into a machine which segregates seed and cotton. As the Girl children have more patience they are used for this process. We can see in the photographs, the girls have to work in the most hazardous conditions. That’s why they all suffer from lung and chest diseases and ear problems as they are continuously in high decibels of sound. Most of the girls are drop outs and sometimes entire family works in the mill living in small huts in the premises of the mill. The girls after putting so much hard work get nothing as the entire money goes to the family needs.
When Tharuni approached the managements of the mills, they said they are aware that children below 14 years cannot be employed and is illegal, but they are brought by their parents. Parents say that the girl children have to support the family as the agriculture is not supportive and that is the reason why they are migrating. Parents show lot of discrimination and they bring only their girl child for work and retain their male kids at their village to attend schools. The girls are made to work at home and also in the mill.
All the girls who are working in these Ginning mills have to be streamlined and health facilities are to be provided as early as possible. Strict warning has to be issued to the managements of these Ginning mills not to employ children in the mills. Parents have to be counseled to join their daughters in the schools. As school is the right place for children.
The Girls working in one of the Ginning Mill
The Girls having Lunch in the Break time along with their Mothers
A Girl coming out from work
A Young worker in the mill (Her hut can be seen, where her family of five lives)
Girls opening a cotton bag in the mill
THE PLIGHT OF GIRLS IN A BRICK FACTORY:
Gurram Venkata Ratnam and Rajamma has three daughters, Swarna, Sandhya and Sravani in the age group of 15, 10 and 7 years. All the three girls work in the Brick factory and all of them are drop outs. They work for 10 to 12 hours a day along with their parents and all are suffering from anemia. They work in the dusty, polluted work areas and near hot chimneys and get frequent head aches. Their parents are sending their son to school and feel that girls have to work.
Nireti Vasantha is a 5th class drop out is 13 year old and has been working in the brick chimney since four years.
These are the few cases of hundreds of such children working in this industry. They are preparing bricks for our house construction but unable to construct their lives.
On the either side of the Hyderabad – Warangal High way we can see many Brick chimneys where we can see hundreds of children working in the hot sun. Most of the children are drop outs and some work in their school holidays. All the children are between the age group of 8yrs to 18yrs. Most of the children are girls as their wages are low. Each girl will carry one thousand to two thousand bricks every day. She earns Rs.40/- for thousand bricks. She has to work 10hours in a day. The girls who works near the chimney may earns Rs.300/- along with her two more family members. In each brick chimney about 45 girls will be working.
Most the girls want to pursue their studies and parents want their daughters to be accommodated in some hostels.
GIRLS AT WORK IN A BRICK FACTORY
A CHILD LABOUR WITH HER FAMILY
Small girls at work – its not play time- it is part of every day’s work
Brick by Brick – Please build a beautiful life for us.
See how tall they are climbing – but not in life!
Sister let us do our elder’s job – But they are forgetting their job.
How long is this drudgery?