Country where the literacy rate is 58 pc is itself in demand of more active minds. As it is said the future of a country lies in the hands of people who are going to take charge of it in future. Not every kid in Pakistan is lucky enough to go to school. Some are even put to work at a very tender age. Child labour is a very serious issue in third world countries. Talking specifically about Pakistan many kids are seen working on workshops and even begging on roads.
Striving hard to meet the ends and not getting basic necessities prompts many people to put their children on work. According to a report by Federal Bureau of Statistics, out of estimated 40 million children in Pakistan, 19 million are working rather going to school. Many kids are working in different factories such as textile, football and in different workshops. Children are even seen begging on roads regardless of harsh comments, scorching heat of summer and freezing temperature of December.
These kids not only perform the hefty duties but they also face loathsome comments by others. The word ‘chotta’ is a very general name for every underage worker, given by the society. Not getting what others are getting facilitated by is one pain, and being mocked by them is another pain. The ‘chotta’ selling flowers on the roads and begging you to buy one, of worth rupees 10, for your wife is the one who daily faces the heinous behavior of many. The ‘chotta’ who is cleaning windscreen of your car is the one who looks daily at every passerby, to be like him, with tearful eyes. Despite having strenuous pain of finding means to get bread and butter on his nerves he is facing the daily detestation, which is enough to destruct his mental peace.
These children often get physical injuries during work and some even develop psychological disorders. No compensation is made by the state, nor by the organization they are working for. Getting access to a proper medical care, in case of an injury, is nearly impossible.
Getting education is an unachievable dream when one is not even sure whether he is going to have the next meal or not. Many volunteers are contributing a lot by teaching these kids in different parks and open places. But still the demand of the time is to put every mind at the right place. No one knows what formula they can bestow science with, if put in school at right time.
Kids do work in many developed countries. Countries like China have several means to extract the right amount of work from person of every age. Even school going children do part time jobs, but the fact is the work is productive and leaves positive marks on their future. The scenario here is totally different. Children here working as a ‘Chotta’ are not only treated badly but also beaten brutally.
The ratio of working hours and the amount of money they get at the end of the day also presents very dismal and gloomy picture. Owners make them do work throughout the day and at end of the day pay them as less as they can. Not only the brutality ends here, if they speak for their rights then owners use force to shut their mouths. This increases the profit of owners to manifolds but at the same time this injustice extinguish many dreams. Law enforcement agencies should look up to the matter and take action against such criminals.
Not only the maltreatment effect their innocent brains and welcome anxiety and depression. It also removes the parity from the society by fueling class difference. One class keeps on becoming richer and richer and other class keeps on sinking into the morasses of hunger.
We as a society have a very strong responsibility on us. If we don’t do anything bigger for them at least we can lessen their burden by treating them fairly. Altruism made many people help others in a number of ways. Students from different universities started number of campaigns to teach children voluntarily. It helped them to get the basic knowhow and provoked in them the idea of getting education, but this is not enough. The state should put light on the issue. As the true to way to succeed and strengthen the economy is by setting everyone on the right track. The government’s action to build shelter homes for poor help many people sleep peacefully at night. Putting pen in the hands of these juveniles would further improve the milieu for them and these Chottas will get their basic needs and alleviate the country.