CRY – breaking the shackles of child labour in India

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The rain Gods have a crucial role to play in children’s education in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh inIndia. Since the livelihood of the communities is dependent on farming, lack of rains not just ruins the crops, but the chances of children going to school. To make ends meet, families force their children to take up economic roles to aid the family’s income, even if it is a meager amount.

This is when CRY – Child Rights and You, an Indian NGO which works to ensure children aren’t deprived of their rights, intervened. CRY’s partner organization Shramika Vikas Kendram (SVK) encouraged and supported the women of the community to step up and take charge of the plummeting situation. The women began cultivating jasmine flowers which in turn ensured employment to the farmers and better income, thus allowing children to go where they belong – schools.

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10.2 million child labourers

According to Census 2011, there are 10.12 million children in labour in India. Susan Varghese, Head, Global Operations, CRY, says, “In our experience of working with children for over three decades, we realize the far reaching implications child labour has not just on education and learning outcomes of the child, but his overall health and development. A child in labour who loses out on education gets stuck in the inter-generational cycle of poverty and deprivation. It is disheartening to know that one in every three child labourers in India is illiterate.”

SVK is just one of the many grass root partners that CRY works with. CRY works in 23 States across India to ensure children break out of the shackles of labour and get enrolled in schools.

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Susan added, “This grave problem of child labour can be eradicated if the root causes that force children to work are addressed. These include poverty, migration of families in search of work, lack of quality education, unemployed parents, etc. CRY, along with its grass-root partners identifies these underlying issues and addresses them by interaction with parents, community leaders, children’s collectives where the importance of child rights, government provisions and the consequences of child labour are discussed. We ensure children get out of labour situations, are enrolled in schools and get quality education.” – PRNewswire.

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