Income at the Cost of Education-A Study of Child Labour in Agricultural Tool Making Units in Punjab
Navjot Kaur and Mini Goyal
Child labour is the form of work which is detrimental to the development of the child. Industrialization leads to migration of labour, including child labour from rural to urban area to be employed in agriculture, factories, etc. This deprives the working child of his the basic right to education. Moreover, the children are also not encouraged to go to school and being illiterate their parents know that it will reduce their income on one hand and will add to their cost on the other. Keeping in view the issue, a study was carried out in 31 an agricultural tool –sickle making units in Mandi Ahmedgarh in Sangrur district of Punjab by taking 102 children below the age of 14 years of age, who were found working as labour there. The results of the study revealed that only 13.73 percent of the working children engaged in the sickle making units were going to school, while majority i.e. 86.28 percent of them were not going to school. Out of those who were not going to school, 48.30 percent had never been enrolled in any school and 38.24 per cent were the drop outs. In case of total 49 working children those had never enrolled to any school, 83.67 percent were migrated and 16.33 percent were the native of Punjab. These children were found contributing a negligible amount of income to their families. The children had no interest in studies and were either the drop outs or had never been enrolled to school and ultimately started doing the labour. In this way the study found that about half of the working children were illiterate. The study suggests that night classes should be started in or around rural areas to provide education to the working children as majority, 62.22 percent of them were interested to attend non formal classes at night, if being provided.