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The firework factories in Tamil Nadu, supplying both export and domestic markets, are the main source of employment in the ...
area, both for adults and children. There are an estimated 50,000-80,000 child workers in this industry in India.
Tags:Child Labor in Firework Factories in Tamil Nadu,child labor in india,child labor rate in india,earth report,fireworks industry and child labor,fireworks industry in tamil nadu,protecting children from child labor in india,television for the environment,tve
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Child Labor in Firework Factories in Tamil Nadu
Male: A few years before Rio, the world’s leaders signed the declaration on children’s rights in order to stop child labor. The Rio conference endorses this.
Male: A decade after India ratified the UN convention pledging to protect children’s rights. The country continues to be home to the world’s largest number of child laborers.
Male: Children make up 10% of India’s workforce. According to the UN, India has more child laborers than any other country, even though the country’s constitution prohibits this.
Panji was born in the Southern Indian State of Tamilnadu; a village completely depends on the fireworks industry.
Today is the start of the annual rice harvest festival called Pongal, a brief rest 1:10 for the children who work in the factories. The celebration begins by honoring the gods.
At Panji’s home in the village preparations has been going on for weeks.
Everybody lends a hand, but Panji is spending the time reading up for school. She has no idea how long she will be allowed to stay there.
Male: Is school important?
Panjarvanum: I want to study, become a doctor and treat people free of charge.
Male: Panji’s life illustrates how failure to tackle child labor deprives millions like her of an education and a future with hope.
When we first met Panji, her father has just died from chemical poisoning in a local fireworks factory. Her grandfather, who had been a peasant laborer; try to help out by going back to the fields.
Male: My son’s death has made life very hard for the family. So I must find work in the fields to support them.
Male: But you are not a young man.
Male: no, I am 65, and I had hoped that by now y son would have been supporting me, but it is God’s will. His wife and children need all the help I can give them.
I cannot help my family anymore. My body is too old and weak.
Male: But in the midst of this hardship, Paanji is full of hope and excitement. It is her first day at school.
Panjarvanum: Come people with shining eye. Come people with strong minds. Come people with kind words. Come people with iron shoulder. Come people with clear minds. Come people who fight justice. Come people who pity the poor. Come people with a lion’s courage.
Male: Panji is a good student determined to succeed, but poverty threatens to curtail her school days.
Many children of her age are pulled out of school to work in the local fireworks industry. Panji is especially lucky as usually as the girls who are made to leave first to allow their brothers to study.
If Panji does have to leave, she will follow in the footsteps of her best friend and cousin, Muru.
For 12 hours a day Muru has to dip her fingers in a copper sulfate solution, coating firework fuses by hand.
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