Child labor : acute social disease


Dateline: It was 11:30 of 15th June, a bit late to start work. I informed it to my Boss that I will be late because of some unusual personal issue. I was waiting for rickshaw at 2 no gate road, Chittagong  since 30 minutes, but finally I find one. When he says I will go, I just quickly jumped into it, even I didn’t ask him fare also. I was so tensed because I have to represent a project to some foreign clients. If I don’t reach on time it will be problem for me. For reaching early to my office I thought of taking shortcut, it would save my time. That’s why I started to talk to the rickshaw puller. But I was surprised when I noticed him first time. He seemed quite young, not more than 12 years boy.  I was feeling to sorry for him as he sweating much and tried to talk to him. I asked his name quite softly. But it seemed that he was shocked to hear such sweet tone.  With a grand smile, he replied, I am Nazrul. Again I ask him, you seem so young, why do you work? Isn’t there anybody at your home to earn? He replied, “Yes, I have my father but he doesn’t care me after getting his second marriage.” “What about your mother?” –“she died while giving birth to my younger sister?” quite surprisingly I asked Nazrul, who looks after your sister then? He replied, ‘My grandmother! I gave her what I earn in a day and she manages us.” –How much do you earn? Quite sadly he replied, not much I have few taka left after paying the rickshaw owner. Sometimes it is 150 or sometimes 200. It is around that. Passengers do not want to take my rickshaw as I am too young.” In the mean time I reached at my office gate, and say good bye to Nazrul by paying fare.

I was so sad when listening Nazrul’s story and also feel sorry for those children who involved themselves in risky and unusual inhumanly  hard child labor  in industrial and manufacturing plants, small scale factories, metal works, construction works and in brick field. They are taking heavier load than their age. What did they get for their blood sucking labor? The amount they get as their wage is really very poor. It is not more than 3000-4000 taka per month. What is really very poor in compare to their child labor?  They cannot afford proper nutritional food to maintain sound health. Very rapidly they are suffering malnutrition and losing their body resistance. As a result they are dying often premature stage.

On the other hand, they have to be beaten cruelly for their silliest mistake and the managing body also cut the amount as compensation for the loss.  What else they could do in this situation except tolerate. As there is no body to listen to their scream or some listens they can’t do anything as they have no authority like me.  The way I feel sorry for Nazrul at this moment, some also do. But once they get into their own busy life, they started to forget children like Nazrul and all our sympathy and concern buried at our heart.