Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. For many years now the Governments have been promising the eradication of child labour in hazardous industries in India. But the truth is that despite all the rhetoric no Government so far has succeeded in eradicating this evil, nor has any been able to ensure compulsory primary education for every Indian child. Between 60 and 100 million children are still at work instead of going to school, and around 10 million are working in hazardous industries. India has the biggest child population of 380 million in the world; plus the largest number of children who are forced to earn a living.
2. We have many laws that ban child labour in hazardous industries. According to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, the employment of children under the age of 14 in hazardous occupations has been strictly banned. But each state has different rules regarding the minimum age of employment. This makes implementation of these laws difficult.
3. Also, there is no ban on child labour in non-hazardous occupations. The act applies to the organized or factory sector and not the unorganized or informal sector where most children find employment as cleaners, servants, porters, waiters among other forms of unskilled work. Thus, child labour continues because the implementation of the existing laws is lax.
4. There are industries, which have a special demand for child labour because of their nimble fingers, high level of concentration and capacity to work hard at abysmally low wages. The carpet industry in U.P. and Kashmir employs children to make hand-knotted carpets. There are 80,000 child workers in Jammu & Kashmir alone. In Kashmir because of the political unrest, children are forced to work while many schools are shut. Industries like gem cutting and polishing pottery and glass want to remain competitive by employing children.
5. The truth is that it is poverty which is pushing children into the brutish labour market. We have 260 million people below the poverty line in India, a large number of them are women. Poor and especially woman-headed families have no option but to push their little ones in this hard life in hostile conditions, with no human or labour rights.
6. There is a lobby which argues that there is nothing wrong with children working as long as the environment for work is conducive to learning new skills but studies have shown that the children are made to do boring, repetitive and tedious jobs and are not taught new skills as they grow older. In these hell-holes like the sweet shops of the old, there is no hope.
7. Children working in hazardous industries are prone to debilitating diseases which can cripple them for life. By sitting in cramped, damp and unhygienic spaces, their limbs become deformed for life. Inside matchstick, fireworks and glass industries they are victims of bronchial diseases and T.B. Their mental and physical development is permanently impaired by long hours of work. Once trapped, they can't get out of this vicious circle of poverty. They remain uneducated and powerless. Finally, in later years, they too are compelled to send their own children to work. Child labour perpetuates its own nightmare.
8. If at all the Government was serious about granting children their rights, an intensive effort ought to have been made to implement the Supreme Court's Directive of 1997 which laid down punitive action against employers of child labour. Only compulsory primary education can eliminate child labour.
9. Surely, if 380 million children are given a better life and elementary education, India's human capital would be greatly enhanced. But that needs, as former President Abdul Kalam says, "a Second Vision".
(i) On which two counts has the Government not succeeded so far in respect of children?
(ii) What makes the implementation of child labour law difficult?
(iii) Why do the industries prefer child labour?
(iv) What are the adverse effects of hazardous industries on children? Give any two.
(v) What does the Supreme Court's Directive of 1997 provide?
(b) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:
(i) risky/dangerous (para 1)
(ii) very unfriendly (para 5)
(iii) intended as punishment (para 3)
(i) The two counts on which the Government hasn’t succeeded so far are:
i. eradication of child labour in hazardous industries
ii. ensuring compulsory primary education
(ii) The implementation of child labour is difficult because each state has different rules regarding the minimum age of employment and there is no ban on child labour in non-hazardous occupations.
(iii) The industries prefer child labour because they have the capacity to work hard and they can work on low wages.
(iv) There are many adverse effects of hazardous industries on children. The two major ones are:
• They become prone to debilitating diseases which can cripple them for life.
• They remain uneducated and powerless and their physical development is permanently impaired.
(v) The Supreme Court's Directive of 1997 provides punitive action against employers of child labour.
(iii) not provided