Pakistan has lots of social and cultural issues. If you look around in the streets, roads, towns, villages, cities, and provinces, you will see hundreds of issues that need to be addressed. Among these issues, some are of vital importance while others have less importance. As a good nation, we all have to play our role to minimize and solve these issues. In my humble opinion, the worst of these issues is CHILD LABOR.
Child labor is a phenomenon in which underage childrens are forced, either by their family or due to their economic condition, to work in restaurants, hotels, workshops, auto shops, factories, and even shops. The government is trying hard to overcome this issue, and its Labor Department is continuously working on this and playing a vital role in minimizing child labor.
On almost every busy road, market, Bazar, mall, and even chocks are full of children, aged between 4-14, both girls and boys, begging through different means; some are selling stationery items while others are selling masks, and books. In the name of God, we help them by purchasing these items and sometimes by refusing to buy items but give them a good amount.
Moreover, children between 3-6 years of age, are standing on every traffic signals, having bottles filled with soaped water and a brush to clean the vehicle’s glasses. When you stop on any traffic signal, they jump on the safety pads of vehicles and start cleaning/washing the mirror without your permission. Some of the vehicle drivers strictly refuse to get the mirror cleaned, but most of us let them do this. In reward, we pay them 10-50 rupees. It is very dangerous and life-threatening too.
In my area, a lady daily came in a wheelchair around 12:00 PM, having two brothers aged 8-10 years, both are disabled. She stays there till 6.00 pm. She forcefully stops every car, rickshaw driver, and ask them for their help. Few of them gave her a handful of the amount. In my opinion, she daily gathers 1500-2000 in just 6 hours. In the evening, their wheelchair is found parked in the nearby shopping plaza.
How to Stop/Discourage Child Labor?
How can we stop this? It’s the responsibility of both; we as a people and the government. The government is performing its little bit role in it but not with honesty. They are preventing these activities in some areas while in some areas they are not doing their job effectively. Police once in a month conducts raid on them, but within a few hours, we find the children back on their jobs.
Why we pay these children even as beggars, sellers, or washers, we have to decide not to give them and their attendants any single rupees in any case. We have to discourage them. Their attendants (maybe their parents) think it is very easy to earn a lot of money by using these children.
Secondly, we have to report such types of businesses and beggars to the police station. Additionally, it is very easy to just go and register a complaint on Citizen Portal. Every of us have a mobile, so you can make their photo or video and just share it on Citizen Portal and mention the exact road, place, town and Union Council so the concerned authority must be held responsible for this activity in their area.
The government has to take strict measures in this regard. For example, the SHO of the area get suspension if any Kite is found flying in his area. The same rule should be applied for child labor and child begging; the concerned SHO should strictly be penalized, not by transferring him but with the termination of his services. Not only SHO but also the lower staff. The parent of such a child must be penalized, and as for business, they should also be penalized heavily; even their license must be suspended/canceled for an indefinite period.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.