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- Work 8-12 hours in a closed room full of smoke, hands are cut into sorting bracelets
2 hours agoAuthor: Meena
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The markets are decorated with bangles as soon as Sawan arrives. These bangles look as romantic as they are, moreover, they are adorned with the work of small hands. Instead of the book of these hands, it is the responsibility to decorate the other hands.
Under what circumstances do children join the bracelet industry, despite being talented, they cannot finish their school studies and suffer from various serious diseases. See the heart-wrenching picture of child labor in Firozabad’s bangle industry.
Before continuing, read these four stories…
9-year-old Rekha has come to collect the cylinder of bangles from the house of the old grandmother who lives next door. There are about 55 bangles in a bangle cylinder, on which dyeing, decoration work is to be done. These bracelet rolls go to nearby houses and the whole house works on them. Rekha says as soon as she comes from school she starts decorating the bangles. You get two rupees for dyeing a bracelet. If the goods are less, I take them from the next grandmother. Our game, jumping, is all associated with bracelets.
History – 2
In the darkness of the basement, there is a wooden table and a blackboard made of black paint on the wall. Satyendra is doing some experiments by putting mercury in it. Satyendra, 20, is in his final year of BAC, but due to lack of good laboratory facilities in the government college, he has made a small laboratory at home. You have collected all the resources from this lab with the earnings from the bracelet binding.
Satyendra says, “My father passed away a few years ago. I have four brothers and I am the eldest. I have more responsibilities on my shoulders, but I have no income. I collected money by placing bracelets in candlelight day and night, which I put in the lab. Sometimes the conditions are so bad that I don’t understand how to arrange dinner tonight. I have to read a lot, I want to do research to save the environment. I have the idea too, but no money. The B .Sc of three years also had to be dropped three times.Due to lack of money I have to drop my studies each time.
Bharatendu Ratan Neeraj, 15, has just passed 10th. He took entrance test under ‘Shreshtha’ scheme and got 167th rank in all India. Under the Shrestha scheme, the school education of meritorious students from scheduled castes has been completed.
Bhartendu says we have neither the facility of light nor the table of the chair for reading. If so, it is our hard work. After coming from school, I engage in the work of tying bracelets. I work harder and harder to get more salaries and my studies don’t stop.
Babita finished her BA this year. He also cleared NIFT entrance but didn’t have enough money to get into any art college. Babita has kept her portraits taken somewhere in the corner. There are some pictures that are not yet painted because there is no money to buy the colors.
On the one hand it is a matter of happiness that the children have raised money to complete their studies by doing arm work. On the other hand, it is the misfortune of the country that despite the ban on child labor, the child is working by force instead of concentrating on studies.
60 thousand child workers are engaged in the bracelet industry
The 2011 census shows that out of about 26 million children in the age group of 5 to 14 years, more than 1 million are involved in child labour, which are in the rural part of the country. Dilip Sevarthi, coordinator of the ‘Save Women and Children’s Rights’ campaign and founder of the Development Institute, says that according to the law it is a crime to hire a child under the age of 18, but there are 6,000 workers in The whole of Firozabad is included, including women, men and children. Among them there are 60 thousand children who are engaged in the work of bracelets.
Dilip Sevarthi, who worked with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi in ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’, says that the factory owners employ the contractors and the contractor makes them in the houses. Most children work in households. Their wages go into hidden jobs and they don’t even get paid. Contractor not found in written documents. Here most of the work is done in colloquial speech, nothing is written anywhere. The contractor employs the elders of the house and due to poverty the children of the house also have to engage in manual labour.
“Expenses are not covered by what you get”
Ramdas Manav, the founder of Glass and Bangle Mazdoor Sabha and has been advocating for workers’ rights for the past few years, says that after coming from the factory, the bangle is cut and tied, soldered, plastered, decorated and packed. Most kids are engaged.
According to activist Ramdas, the contractor gives three to four thousand rupees for decorating a child in a month, while the old man gets eight to nine thousand rupees for the same work. The wages granted by law to the elderly are so low that they cannot even meet household expenses. In this situation, the whole house should be devoted to bangle work.
“Suffocating breath in a closed room”
Children work for hours without electricity. Working long hours has a negative effect on your health. In 2020, ‘Flame University’ conducted research under the name ‘Bracelets’, in which it was revealed that the weaving of bracelets is done in front of small lights in closed rooms. If there is air in the lamp, the bracelet will not be able to connect. Because of this, air pollution increases inside the house.
A few toys lying here and there in the narrow alley, the yard and a closed window, the sound of thunder coming from the door. A knock at the door found 27-year-old Aarti tying bangles to the lamp. The noisy noise came from the room because pressure is given from a small motor to accelerate the light of the lamp. Some boxes of groundnuts and gram were kept above the place where Aarti works. At the consultation, two of his children were found to have tuberculosis. The oldest child is eight years old and the youngest is three years old. Aarti says that of the three children, only the middle one does not have TB. We are taking both children to the doctor, but no one in our family had TB, why didn’t they know?
Dr Anurag Sharma of Delhi’s Rajan Babu Tuber Closis Hospital says TB is a contagious disease. If someone in the house or household has tuberculosis, the risk of contracting it increases for others. Along with this, this disease is also spreading due to more people living in small houses, dirt and lack of ventilation.
Firozabad Medical Director Dinesh Premi says people come to us with skin diseases, eye problems and lung problems.
So, at the same time, Dr Gaurav Gupta, general practitioner at the District Hospital, says that most of the girls here are carrying diseases like anaemia, cold cough and pneumonia. Seasonal diseases are detected early.
agents don’t want to talk
After hearing the problems of children engaged in the bangle market in Firozabad, when attempts were made to speak to Deputy Labor Commissioner (LSC) Arun Kumar Singh, no information was received. The second time we spoke on the phone, the questions could not be answered. They kept delaying.
“Whoever asks for the right will be sent to prison”
Social worker Dilip Sevarthi says whoever talks about children’s rights or workers’ rights here, the same cases are tried. In 1997, I was also jailed because at that time there was a Supreme Court judgment in MC Mehta vs Government of Tamil Nadu, in which the person who makes child labor will have to pay a fine of 20 thousand rupees and the Govt. state five thousand rupees.
I wanted to implement this demand in Firozabad and went to District Magistrate office and started dharna. Instead of accepting my demands, I was tried and imprisoned. To this day, this case continues. Child labor has increased rapidly due to the rise in inflation due to the Corona. Those who demand workers’ rights are sued and this business continues in silence.
… so what is the solution?
Dilip Sevarthi further says, “This child labor will continue to increase until the workers do not get wages that fill the stomach of their entire family and free education will not be available for free.” Instead of giving free ration to governments, free education and more and more government schools and colleges will have to be organized so that the rise of child labor in generations can be stopped.
Read another story from the city of bracelets tomorrow…
Firozabad Glass Industry Started From Bhainsa Kiln: Today $250 Million Business But 1-1 Rupee Discrimination In Muslim-Dalit Locality
‘Bhabhi ji’, who runs a glass factory: With the death of her husband, all signs of the honeymoon were removed, fire broke out in the furnaces that came out of the home
Hands bled when making red-green-yellow bracelets: the blood that forms in the body is destroyed in a hot oven, many lives are lost.