“Our financial situation was terrible. All we could do is send our sons to school. It is a belief system in our society that it is okay if girl children work at home and do not study. But thanks to World Vision India, they kept persuading us to send her to school. Now, since June 2018 she has been going to school and she also attends the remedial education centre run by World Vision India in our community” says Sayana*, Ruhi’s* mother.
Ruhi, too, persuaded her parents to send her to school. “I often told them that I will earn money and pay my school fees,” she says.
Still working and helping her mother at home after she comes back from school, Ruhi feels relieved that she is at least able to go to school.
Ruhi and her mother use beads to decorate dresses for women. They earn Rs. 3 for each dress that they decorate and manage to decorate at least 5-10 dresses a day.
Child labour is a vast issue, yet depravity of the girl child is a hidden concern lurking behind it’s shadow. While some families fail to understand the importance of educating the girl child, constant counselling and change in attitudes towards the girl child can make a huge impact, just like Ruhi’s.
According to a report by International Labour Organisation, “Age, sex, ethnicity, caste and deprivation affect the type and intensity of work that children perform. Agriculture and informal sector employment continue to be sectors where children end up working.” It also adds, “child labour is both a cause and consequence of poverty. Household poverty forces children into the labour market to earn money. Some perform child labour to supplement family income while many also are in it for survival. They miss out on an opportunity to gain an education, further perpetuating household poverty across generations.”
*Names changed to protect identity