Child workers in Dhanusha in these recent photos. Photo: Republica
DHANUSHA, June 3: Dhanusha has become a growing hub for the ill practice of child labor. Of late, the number of child workers has been growing everywhere - from tea shops to eateries. Although the practice of child labor is an offense punishable by the law as per the constitution of 2015, the astonishing reality is that the practice is carried out in many parts of the country.
At 6 in the morning, a tea shop in the district is occupied with people stopping by to discuss the country's political situation. Among a group of people, a 13-year-old boy who has been working there for the past four years is left unnoticed. He handles the tea shop and does every work on his own. When asked, Hari Ram (name changed) says that he is 13 although he looks quite young to his age. It is a well-accepted reality that the shop owners who keep child workers at Janakpur give the children a raised-age.
From cleaning to washing to cooking, Hari Ram said that he takes care of every work in the shop. He usually sleeps at 11 at night but has to work for extended hours when people visit the shop with late night orders. “Working all day long is tiresome. The owner scolds me when I happen to sleep for some extra time,” he said.
Four years ago, he had entered the city with a hope to work in order to support his education. “The dream could not come true due to my poor economic status. I remember crying hard this day when I dreamed about going to school in uniform,” he added.
The practice of child labor has been on the rise in the district. Although child labor is prevalent in the district, there is a huge lack of rightful measures adopted to eliminate such activities in the district.
Chairperson of Women and Children Office, Awadhesh Kumar Jha, pointed out the lack of human and other resources as the factors contributing to the rise in child labor. “Child labor is not only ethically and socially unacceptable but also punishable by the law. People have been using children as an easier medium to make money. Therefore, it is crucial for every citizen to acknowledge child rights, be sensitively aware of their situation and act for their betterment,” said Jha.