In order to escape from poverty, earn livelihoods or make extra income many children in India forsake of their education and schooling. A large percentage of children never even attend school and if they do, they dropout or leave school early to work elsewhere. Due to these reasons, the literacy rate remains low and leaves many children vulnerable to social and economic exploitation.
Journey from child labour towards education for a brighter future
During an outreach, a CHILDLINE team member noticed two young boys working at a restaurant. The team member began conversing with the boys and found out that they were aged 15 and 16 years old and belonged to two different neighbouring villages. Both boys revealed that they go to school but also work on alternate days to get extra income. The CHILDLINE team co-ordinator counselled the boys and conveyed to them that their parents are working hard for them to study and not for them to labour. The coordinator advised the boys to focus on their education and study hard. The CHILDLINE team member made them understand that if they study hard, they would a get a well paying job four to five years down the line. Further, their employer was given CHILDLINE India Foundation pamphlets and informed about its services. The team members also made the employer aware about the offence of child labour and told him not to employ children. The vendor ensured that he would not employ children and would inform CHILDLINE India Foundation if some other person does. The CHILDLINE team co-ordinator visited the shop again but the boys were not found. Then the CHILDLINE team co-ordinator went to homes of both the boys and informed about services provided by them. The parents of one of the boy informed the CHILDLINE team co-ordinator that the child is in 9th standard and want him to be a police officer one day. The coordinator advised the child to focus on studies and fulfil his parent’s dream. When the coordinator met with the second boy’s mother, she requested the CHILDLINE member to visit the boy’s school and request his teacher to contact her in case the boy did not attend school. The CHILDLINE co-ordinator along with both boys visited their schools and met with their teachers. The teachers were requested to inform the homes of both boys if they don’t attend school. The teachers were informed about CHILDLINE India Foundation services and were requested to take care of the boys as well.
(*Name and details changed to protect the child)