Child labor in India continues to be an alarming problem despite laws that forbid such practices. During a recent raid of three textile factories and a metal processing plant, authorities found dozens of underage children hard at work. Although police managed to round up 26 underage laborers, officials believe that many more may have fled the scene.
In addition to embroidering women’s clothing, some of the children were working with extremely dangerous acids and metals. When questioned about their jobs, most of the children gave simple, generic answers, responses they’ve been trained by their employers to give whenever inquiries are made about their work.
Presently, there are believed to be 50,000 children working in New Delhi, many of which are handling hazardous materials on a regular basis. Since poverty is so rampant in the country, children can often be found begging in the streets for change or sifting through trash for a bite to eat. Many of them are lured into the factories by the promise of food and a place to sleep, though often they are sold to employers by their cash-strapped parents.
India’s charity “Save the Child” has made a concentrated attempt to rescue as many children as possible from the clutches of these opportunistic factory owners. The organization claims to have saved more than 1,300 kids last year alone. However, with an estimated 50,000 still hard at work for employers that take advantage of the country’s poverty, there is still a lot of work ahead.
According to reports, India is the home to the largest number of child laborers.