Child Labour

There are an estimated 12 million child labourers in India, the world's highest number of working children, often subjected to exploitative and hazardous conditions. They can work for 12-15 hours a day and are paid less than 3 rupees ($0.10). 80% of these are involved in agriculture, whilst some work with explosives, metals and poisonous gases from early ages.
These large numbers engaged in underage employment are due to numerous factors. Children work primarily because there is a demand for cheap labour in today’s increasingly competitive environment. Millions also work to help their families as parent and other adults in the family do not have enough income to support everyone, or because there are no other options - i.e. there is no access to schools. In more extreme (but not uncommon) cases, those families living in poverty often 'sell' their children to contractors who promise the children lucrative jobs in cities. Tragically, they end up being employed in brothels, hotels and domestic work, whilst others run away and find an equally miserable life on the streets.
Those on the street often make 'a living' rag-picking. They can be seen on rubbish dumps alongside animals, rummaging for recyclables which they then go on to sell for a handful of rupees that are quickly spent on food and entertainment, or squandered due to an inability to manage money. Other 'trades' they are involved in include street vending, begging, working in workshops or factor units, firewood collecting and prostitution.
The major impacts of child labour relate to both education and health. These child labourers forfeit their right to schooling and other training whilst they continue to work, and are also denied the opportunities to play and rest. Healthwise, many of these children suffer from exhaustion, work-related injury, as well other physical and mental afflictions.