Saturday, 27 April 2013

Stop Child Labour – Educate Every Child!

A call came to our emergency helpline from Vithura, Trivandrum exhorting to rescue three child labourers. The informant said that all three children were made to work in an electrical shop. Our team rushed to the spot. The children were Nitheesh, Amal, and Anu from a neighbouring village. We enquired about their family back ground.   These children had completed their high school education and were waiting for the results.  In one family, the father was very sick and in bed because of which it was very difficult to maintain the family without any earnings.  Hence the boy child was asked to work to support the family. Another child was worried about his drunken father, who was not giving anything for the family. So to help his mother, he too started working. The third boy was being looked after by his mother, as his father deserted the family and his mother has to look after him and his siblings.  Under these circumstances all the three had to stop their study mid way and with it shattered their dreams of higher education. Besides Higher Secondary education required higher fees which they were unable to afford.

Our team enquired whether they wanted to continue their education if we found support for their education expenses. Only Nitheesh preferred to continue education with our help. Our team visited his house and convinced the parents about the importance of education for a brighter future and they agreed to send their son for higher education.  So with the help of a local person who was willing to support his education, we bought educational materials, uniform and paid fee to help Niteesh to continue his education.

There are many children in our so called financially secure Kerala State who are unable to afford education after high school due to escalating costs of living and increased school education fees. Free and compulsory education needs to be extended up to 18 years in Kerala so that we can abolish child labour and provide opportunity to the less privileged children also to fulfill their dreams to study higher and earn a better living for the family. The Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society has been lobbying with the Government to achieve the same.