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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Child Labor in India - Epilogue Durable Link to this BLOG
Child Labor Problem = Unemployment Problem

Apropos to our recent notes on problems of Child Labor in India, many have asked about what is being done, and what can be done.

There's no easy solution to the problem. Many Western nations, listening to liberal propaganda, have banned goods produced with child-labor, which has only resulted in further impoverishment of the children. In her blog, my mother proposes starting evening schools for working children, following some experiments of Mumbai.

I may sound naive, but Gandhi foresaw this problem. When he advocated job-training for children, the Indians called him casteist. Gandhi's purpose was to impart job skills to the children without burdening them with economic responsibilities or destroying their creative intellect. He fought very hard to bring respect to the so-called condemned professions of India (hence the weaving, and  toilet-cleaning rituals in his ashrams). Now it is too late for India to revert to a Gandhian way of life anyway. 

How would Gandhian way would have solved this problem?
Gandhi didn't foster capitalism, great entrepreneurship, or large-scale industrialization, but the Gandhian way provided for universal employment. If you study the child-labor problem, it is really a problem of unemployment.

See Also:
• Real Jobs - pictures of hard labor
• India's Street Children
• Gandhi on Labor

Reaffirming an Old Policy

Several non-profit organizations have asked me if they could use our pictures of poverty in their fund-raising campaigns. I am sorry, but you may not.

I have said before that showing images of poor and destitute to raise funds is distasteful and immoral.

I enforce this policy to honor the poor people of India who agreed to be photographed without the entice of money or fame, and to honor the photographer who photographed them selflessly, just to document a space in time.

But I welcome and encourage the use of our pictures when they are used to touch people's heart in a positive way. Asha's 2002 calendar, and an exhibit in Argentina of the handicapped children are examples of this. The difference might be small to many, but it is of great importance to me. Thank you.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Last Modified: 11/12/2002

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