Recently it has come to public attention that Fatehabad, which is well known for its milk industry, has a fair share of child labourers who are working in the cotton fields in the district. Child labour is one of the major menaces in India and is perhaps more common in the urban areas as compared to the rural ones. Even though it is saddening to see this plight of children, who should be dedicating their lives to excellence instead of toiling under the sun, it is perhaps not surprising in the end.
It is well known that majority of the people in Haryana are landless farmers who also perform various odd jobs in order to earn their livelihood during the off season in fact a large chunk of their income comes from such sources. So, it is perhaps not unexpected that they are sending their children to work in these fields with the hope that they will be able to earn their sustenance themselves.
It is important that work is done at different levels so that the phenomenon of child labour can be permanently done away with. It is also important to generate awareness among people regarding measures that can be taken to stop this practice in this part of Haryana forever. The parents of these children need to be informed about the various health related dangers that they are exposing their children to in terms of threats from exposure to chemical fertilizers as well as pesticides. The parents also need to understand the simple fact that they are not doing their wards any favour from a health perspective by making them toil long and hard under the sun.
It also needs to be understood by working in fields these children are unable to go to school and thus they are not being educated. This is affecting their chances of development in the long term and that of the state as well. However, this is not where the problems end for Fatehabad.
Fatehabad is known for its milk industry but that is the only well developed agro-based industry in the district it seems. While it is always appreciable to have a single point of strength it is also vitally important to develop the other sectors as well. It is also important to note in this context that the industrial sector of the district is not as well developed as its agricultural counterpart.
It is pretty well known that with a developed industrial sector it is possible to achieve greater heights of progress and improvement with more investment coming from various circles and more jobs being created. It is imperative that the state and district administration look into these areas and take positive steps in the regard.
The sex ratio in Fatehabad is skewed significantly in favour of men, who account for 53% of the overall population and are more literate 71% as against 60% for women. Once again, it is important to take long term measures in this regard by generation of awareness, by making the local people understand that a girl child is as valuable, if not more, than a boy.
References: Media reports