Expressions of Imperialism: Child Labor in India

Published: 2021-07-07 07:45:04
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Category: Culture

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India was colonized by Great Britain in 1858 and gained independence in 1947, when the British had left, India’s wealth was drained to a great extent. British rule had hit the Indian economy so hard that it was never able to recover. As religious conflicts and gaps increased. Local handicraft and cotton industries were ruined, as the British wanted to promote and sell their products, and when they had left, they had taken all the wealth with them, leaving little for India.Food production was reduced as an increase in opium was being produced to sell to other countries, which ultimately led to great famines and poverty in India. As a result of poverty and famine, families were not able to provide for themselves and had to also rely on their kids to provide for them, since the kids couldn’t go to school and instead had to work to earn money to survive. The conditions in which children work are extremely poor and unregulated, they are often made to work without food, and very low wages, resembling situations of slavery. There are cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of child domestic workers. Debt-bondage in India rose during the colonial period, as a way of getting cheap and reliable labour, it was named by the colonial administration as the indentured labour system. These systems included bonded child labour.Despite its legislation, prosecutors in India rarely use the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976 (In which prohibition is imposed on the practice of Traffic in Human Being and of Forced Labor. It also provides that violation of the prohibition is illegal.) to prosecute those responsible. The few actions done to enforce this law have had some unintended effects. While there has been a decrease in children working in factories because of enforcement and community vigilance committees, it has been claimed that poverty still forces children and poor families to work. The factory lends money to whoever needs it, puts a loom in the person’s home, and then the family with children works out of their homes, bring finished product to pay interest and get some wages. As a result, when children in India grow up, since they were busy working in factories they have little to no formal education and are forced to work low paying jobs, which then their own kids have to also work to help pay for the families necessities, thus continuing this cycle.

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