Former child laborer now fights child labor | Fusion - WeRIndia

Former child laborer now fights child labor

Former child laborer now fights child labor

Although there may be several laws that protect the rights of children, child labor continues to exist in many of the less-privileged nooks and crannies of India. About 10.3 million children are subject to child labor, out of which 70% are girls.

One of these girls was a Bengaluru slum dweller named Kanaka, who had to spend 12 years of her life working as a child laborer. Her father was physically disabled, and her mother had to work as a house help in order to make a living.

She managed to send Kanaka to school until class 4, when she suddenly became diagnosed with cancer. Kanaka was forced to drop out of school and had to bear the burden of feeding her family, which she managed by working in three houses.

Soon, her mother succumbed to her cancer, and Kanaka had to move in with her relatives. They put her through a trauma that was both emotionally and physically debilitating, and they made her work in several wedding halls.

However, in one of these venues, she was noticed by SPARSHA, a non-profit organization fighting against child labor. Today, Kanaka is 17 years old, and is a first-year PU student at a private college in Bengaluru.

Soon, on the 20th of November, the Indian Parliament will host 30 children across the country for an event that commemorates Universal Children’s Day. Kanaka is one of these selected children, who are permitted to speak in front of Parliament for eight minutes.

She will be reaching out to Parliament to enforce children’s rights across the country, especially in slums and rural areas, where there is less awareness and education about child rights. People in these areas also have less resources that they can use to better their lives.

Former child laborer now fights child labor

Former child laborer now fights child labor

Hopefully, the voices of children like Kanaka will provide Parliament with personal accounts of the horrors of child labor and other forms of child abuse, and will lead to further enforcement of child rights in India.

Image Reference: Facebook, NPR

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