High temperature, dingy cells without air and light and the 20,000 children between the age of 5-14,is all what it takes to make glittering bangles. These children slog their daylight hours, often losing the brightness of their eyes before even being able to identify the colors. Stinking lanes choked with garbage, homes that are hovels with crumbling walls, wobbly doors, no windows, crowded with families of humans and animals coexisting in a primeval state. This is what Firozabad looks like, the center of India's largest glass blowing industry. What do they get in return??? Not even a square meal...
Arising at dawn, the rag picker children start their rounds. With feet bare and backs aching, they carry the heavy bags that contain the day's pickings. Sometimes on foot they travel over 20 kilometers each day for the best pickings. Their clothing is filthy, tattered, ill fitting, and wholly inadequate for protection especially, when the weather is wet and cold.
Life is very hard as they rummage (competing and fighting with stray dogs and cattle) through every filthy garbage heap in the city and railway stations. All recyclable garbage is collected and sorted: paper, plastic, bottles, bones, metals and rotting discarded food thrown out by households and railway passengers. With this they fill their bags and often their starving bellies. If the day's collection is bad, they resort to stealing for survival. If good, they rush to the nearest wayside shop to ease their hunger.
Late in the afternoon they resume their second round of collection. Then after sorting and selling their loot, they spend their nights on the streets or in graveyards, where they are exploited and abused. Older rag pickers and perverted people give them drugs or threaten them for sexual purposes, thus exposing them to AIDS, and many more sexual and life threatening diseases.
Bricks are the foundation of any building in which the so called civilised world resides, but in making those bricks millions of children make the foundations of their lives uncertain and dark. Working in the kilns day and night, high temperatures, heavy bricks and a child of hardly 8, this is what the brick industry in Indian subcontinent looks like.The harmful gases rising from the chimney of the kiln give them many diseases such as lung cancer,skin cancer,poor eye sight in reward.From the mere age of 5 or 6 upto their death,they spend their lifetime to help us build our safe houses, but have you ever wondered 90% of them don't even have a pucca house to live in!!!
Glorious, blooming red the world famous woollen carpets are the symbol of style and status for sophisticated societies. According to the owners of carpet factories "small fingers of children weave the finest carpets".Is it true?The small fingers which are supposed to be painting their bright colorful future on the canvas of life, work on fine needles and threads to weave something which is not for them, and can never belong to them.
CRACKERS' INDUSTRY LABORERS!!!
Be it any festival, marriage, celebration, crackers are an essential component of expressing joy, glee and celebration; but the cracker industry of Shivkashi in India takes the help of millions of children under 14 to make those crackers. What a contrasting situation,one side we have a child making those crackers and the other side we have a child who burns those crackers and shows his happiness. One side we have parents who buy those crackers and the other side we have parents who send their children to these cracker industry to work with hazardous chemicals and poisonous gases to make these crackers. The children working in cracker industry suffer from variety of chemicak hazards ranging from tuberculosis, lung cancer, skin cancer and a number of respiratory disorders and infections.Wonder over a point........ Are crackers really a symbol of happiness and glee??
ROADSIDE HOTEL WORKERS/ DOMESTIC HELP!!!
"I was happy being a rag-picker, atleast the bag I held belonged to me, I could go wherever I wished to,but now I am paid more but the kettle I hold in my hands does not belong to me, it belongs to the master, no doubt I am given my meagre meals but I am no more the master of my own destiny. Even the empty kettle is heavier than a stuffed rag bag" says a child labour working in a roadside hotel. What a choice to make- on one side we have a rag picker and the other side we have a road side hotel worker. Irony, thou art personified here...