Today the whole world is infested with an advertisement which has completely overpowered our way of life. It has changed our concepts. In fact advertisement is a way of convincing people in favour of the things, advertised. It promotes the sale of things.
It is not a new concept of marketing but from the time immemorial the producers have been using it for increasing the sale of their products.
The form of advertisement has changed very rapidly prior to the days of TV. Products were advertised through newspapers, magazines, radios, banners etc. As these means were not much impressive or attractive, it could not affect the sale much.
These mediums had no mass appeal. Television has made revolutionary changes in the way of advertisements. As it has occupied the place of household things, it has greater appeal among people. Its impact is very quick.
Obviously advertisement has three basic purposes. The first one is to promote sales and then comes the number of public relations and education. The very first purpose i.e. sales promotion aims to persuade common people to buy a particular product or service. Public relations are created a positive image of a company or organisation. So far education is concerned; it aims at to inform people about the welfare scheme.
Thus advertising is a presentation of various goods, services or ideas to the mass of human rights. If children are not dying in explosions, they are dying a slow but sure death in the glass, brass-ware, lock, slate, balloon, brick-kiln and other industries.
Not only are children working in hazardous industries, they are also engaged in the most hazardous processes in industries which adults do not want to touch. In the glass industry, children are primarily engaged in removing molten glass from the furnaces.
Since the furnaces are designed for adults, the child’s face is almost touching the wall of the furnace. It is not all. Accidents happen all the time and most of them go unreported.
Child labour and its problems are intimately related to the extreme poverty. These children belong to the families of total have-nots who do not have any other means to raise their income except the human asset it invest in a bid to supplement it.
These children as such contribute to the pool of income of the family to fulfil their needs. But parents cannot be allowed to justify sending their children to work in such industries on the grounds of poverty. A massive contryriwide campaign is needed to be launched stating clearly the punitive action which would be taken if children were found to be employed.
Exploitation of children as social problem has only recently begun to agitate the international conscience. Germany and USA have now refused to allow import of items-such as Indian carpets, which are made by small children.
In India, the children cause has been taken up by the Delhi-based Centre of Concern For Child Labour (CCFCL), which also has field units in Bhopal, Aligarh and Sonabhadra, CCFCL, provides relief and rehabilitation to child workers, networks with non-governmental organisations and the governmental organisations and the government to improve child welfare programmes, generates public awareness and hold education programmes for child workers.
The Bangalore-based Concern for Working Children (CWC) runs Gramashrama, a unique project to curb migration of child labourers from villages to cities, The project covers 52 villages in Karnataka, CWC also runs a shelter for homeless working children in Bangalore. But their effort is not enough. There is still much to do in this direction.
School represents the most important means of drawing children away from the labour market. School provides children with guidance and opportunity to understand their role in society. Therefore many insist on immediately abolishing child labour and requiring children to go to school.
In India, the existing, Employment of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 provides for prohibition of child labour in hazardous industries and regulates their employment in the non-hazardous industries.
The state governments have been told to determine hazardous and non- hazardous industries but they have not been able to do so as yet. The child labour act is applicable up to 14 years of age. But the reality is that in many industries the child labour have been shown higher than the actual age. Consequently millions of small children are languishing in slavery in various industries.
Child labour must be stopped at any cost. The gravity of this issue should cause concern to us and the world at large.