The choice of the kind of food to order in a restaurant or the school to send our child to is pretty straightforward. And yet, we see ourselves labouring over these decisions.
Now consider the case where your decision was a matter of life or death. That’s the dilemma of parents who struggle to provide three meals a day for their family.
If sending their child for work would ensure that the child stays free from hunger, their choice would be to sustain the child. The choice of sending the child to school would mean, years of waiting in hunger and desperation with the hope that someday they’ll pass these hard days into a prosperous life.
Parents who live in the fringes of the society cannot afford the luxury of ‘waiting’ and want their children to fend for themselves from the tender ages of five, six etc. The fingers that point towards them in judgement do not see the helplessness they are facing but only the cruelty and pain these parents are inflicting on their own children.
Child labour has gained worldwide recognition – where children are sent to work denying their right to education. On the other side, often the empathizing view of the critic is absent as to why the child is being forced to work, and by whom? Why do the parents deny education to their children and force them to earn a living in physically, emotionally and psychologically unhealthy environments?
The primary reason would be the inability to win bread for them – the basic necessity of survival. Human life is designed in such a way that we are willing to compromise anything and everything that stands in the way of quenching thirst or fulfilling hunger. And hence, we should fight the root cause of child labour rather than the outcomes that create hype and visibility in the streets.
Who wouldn’t want their children to have a childhood full of happiness, learning, fun and entertainment? No parent would wish misery upon their child but their plight forces them to take away the childhood every child rightfully deserves.
You can either be the spectators, who judge the parents and advocate for these children in public without making much difference in their lives, or you can choose to be that someone who brings about a change and better their circumstances.
Which side would you rather be in?