Skip to main content

Adverse impact of industrialization along Kutch coastline: Fisherfolk turned into wage labourers, child labour on rise

Counterview Desk
Belonging to Mota Kandagra, one of the adversely affected villages as a consequence of industrialization along the coastal region of Kutch district, Gujarat, Minal, 11, and Sonal, 13, remember the joyful lives they led just two years ago. They never knew what hunger was. They went to the local school, played with their friends and were loved and treated well. Their father had a small farm and was a successful farmer.
Today Sonal, Minal and their mother have to work as manual workers on others' fields to ensure that the family has enough to eat, and their two younger brothers go to school so that one day they could deliver the family from the current poverty and misfortune. This is just one of the several instances quoted by a recent Bank Information Centre (BIC)-sponsored study, which has found a sharp rise in child labour in the villages wherever industrialization has taken place.
Quoting villagers, the study says, following industrialization in the region, dependence on fishing as also farming and other occupations for livelihood has gone down, forcing children into labour force. “Earlier they used to catch Rs 100,000 worth of fish and now that has fallen to Rs 40,000”, the study quotes a fisherman from Sangarh as saying.
The 60 per cent decline in the fish catch “has forced families to engage even young boys early in life so that they have more productive members at work. This has contributed to young boys dropping out of school”, the study points out, adding, how this has also affected pastoralists, too. “In the pastoral communities (as in Tunda and Wandh villages), children are increasingly forced to graze cattle.”
“With the depleted grazing lands and decreasing agricultural productivity in the vicinity, the cattle have to be taken farther from the area for grazing, and the extra burden falls on the children”, the study, carried out by a team led by prominent Gujarat-based activist Prasad Chacko, says, adding, what is deplorable is that industries in the region have not made little effort to build new schools in the area either.
An influential NGO headquartered in US, BIC claims to advocate for "the protection of rights, participation, transparency, and public accountability" in the governance and operations of the World Bank Group-funded projects.
Pointing out that many now children drop out after they go to higher primary levels, the study says, children aged 9-12 “have to travel approximately two to three km, and most parents do not want to send their daughters outside the village because “they do not feel safe”. It quotes people from Tunda village that industry owners were requested to provide school buses, but without any success.
The study further says, the industry people claim that they have “provided vocational training to adolescents and youth” in order to “help increase access to employment opportunities for older children”. However, the study found that “most residents from the villages studied reported that no such training programmes have been organised in their villages.”
In fact, the situation is particularly precarious for girls, the study points out. “In all villages, researchers learned that many adolescent girls are being employed as wage labour on sapling plantation sites that belong to the companies and as domestic labour in the apartments of the staff of the company", the study says, claiming instances of "sexual abuse”.
Loss of livelihood has meant “many parents cannot afford to send their children to school, and there is no outside financial support provided to poor families”, the study says, adding, “Though there are no school fees, and the school provides books for the students, parents are expected to pay for uniforms and stationary.”

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).