Skip to main content

Higher incidence of child labour in Gujarat than rest of India: NSSO report

By Rajiv Shah 
The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), in a report put out in January 2014, “Employment and Unemployment Situation in India, 2011-12”, has found that both in rural areas and urban areas, Gujarat has one of the highest percentage of child workers. The report should be a big blow to the state’s powerful policy makers who have claiming that Gujarat has negligible incidence of child labour. The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) data, put out in January 2014, have revealed a stark reality: The proportion of child labour in Gujarat in both urban and rural areas is one of the highest in India. Calculated on the basis of usual status of employment, taking principal and subsidiary activities together, the NSS has found that, in urban Gujarat 2.2 per cent of children in the age-group 5-14 are in the workforce, which is higher than most Indian states, except West Bengal (12.6 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (4.4 per cent). Things are worse in rural areas, where Gujarat’s 4.3 per cent of children in the age-group 5-14 are the workforce, which is again higher than all major Indian states, except Jharkhand (6.7 per cent).
An analysis of the NSS data suggest that there was a fall in child labour in Gujarat, from 3.6 per cent of the child population, as found in the NSSO’s report of 2006 on the basis of the survey carried out the top Government of India statistical body carried out in 2004-05, to 2.2 per cent in the latest report, which is based on the NSSO’s survey of 2011-12. A similar fall in the percentage of child workers can in seen in the rural areas – from 5.6 per cent in 2004-06 to 4.3 per cent in 2011-12. However, as the “Reference Note” on child labour, published by the Lok Sabha secretariat in 2013 and meant for use to members of parliament, admits, fall in the percentage of child labour is an all-India phenomenon.
The “Reference Note” specifically says, “Evidence drawn from the National Sample Survey data suggest that India’s child workforce during 2004-05 was estimated at little over 90.7 lakh as against 215.5 lakh in 1983. During this period, the number of child employment declined sharply by 124.8 lakh. There is considerably higher fall in child workforce among boys than girls. The corresponding fall in boys and girls workforce during 1983 to 2004- 05 is observed to have decreased from 120.6 to 47.6 lakh, and 94.9 to 43.1 lakh, respectively.” As for 2009-10, it points out, “As per NSSO survey 2009-10, the working children are estimated at 49.84 lakh which shows a declining trend.”
Quoting a Rajya Sabha unstarred question, the “Reference Note” says that in 2009-10, Gujarat had 3,90,687 child workers – 3,58,460 rural and 32,224 urban. This was, significantly, the highest among all Indian states. While no quantification of child workers in Gujarat has been made in the latest NSS report put out in January 2014, it can safely be assumed that things should have not changed. As against Gujarat’s 3.5 lakh child labourers found in 2009-10, Bihar had 2.7 lakh, Maharashtra 2.6 lakh, Karnataka 2.2 lakh, and so on. The lowest number of child workers was in Kerala, merely 2,765, next lowest being Himachal Pradesh (7,391).
These facts have come to light at a time when a new bill is pending before the national Parliament which wants to include ban child labour up for those who reach 18 years of age. While NSS does not have separate figures for children between 15 and 18, it has found that in the age-group 15-19, i.e. those who should potentially be in high school and beyond up to the college, again, Gujarat has one of the highest percentage of workers. In rural areas, 33.4 per cent of children work, which is higher than all the Indian states. In urban areas, too, 21.3 per cent of the age group 15-19 work, which is again higher than all Indian states.



'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

How US is using Tibetans to provoke conflict with China 'ignoring' India

By Lobsang Tenzin*  On July 12, US President Joe Biden signed the Resolve Tibet Act, and Tibetans cheered for it, believing that the law promotes a resolution of the dispute between Tibet and China. Is this true? First, let's look at the issue of the ownership of Tibet. 

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".