This article is found at the Financial Express at http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=31089 The Youngest Victims Of Globalisation by Java Shrivastava, Director, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education, an NGO based in New Delhi From sewing buttons to being forced into the flesh trade, girl child labour doesn�t get a fair deal in India. The tale of the girl child in India is one of immense tragedy. Out of the 400 million children (the largest child population in any one country) in India, at least 63 million are out of school, two-thirds of them girls. Though the government of India (GOI) claims not more than 11.28 million child labourers, networks like Campaign Against Child Labour say India is home to at least 100 million child labourers. Although separate figures on girl labourers are not available, it is estimated that at least 42 million girls under the age of 18 years are working. The number equals the population of countries like Myanmar and South Africa. Earlier this month, hundreds of girls at a child labour public hearing in Mysore and Karnataka shared how they lost their childhood. And how cruel socioeconomic patterns and government policies crushed their person. This brings us to an important question: Why does the girl worker, who adorns the covers of GOI reports, continue to be absent from government statistics and policy plans? Undoubtedly, the structural gender inequalities of our society make the girl child very vulnerable.
The practice of child marriage is still common in states like Rajasthan. Even in New Delhi, at least 18 per cent of mothers who live in slums are between 12 and 14 years old. The country�s sex ratio has declined rapidly�from 976 girls per 1,000 boys (1961 census) to 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. Over 45 per cent under-18 girls today are illiterate. Most poor families choose first to send their sons to school, while daughters help in chores at home. If the family is slightly better off, the son is sent to a private school, while the daughter goes to a government school.
In metropolitan cities, the scare of HIV/AIDS has made men demand very young sex workers. According to a study by NGO Haq, 25 per cent of the sex workers in one of the red light areas of New Delhi are under 18. In privileged New Delhi homes, 90 per cent of domestic workers are girls under 18. Many are tortured and exploited by their employers or even the police. One estimate indicates that 50-60 per cent of the crimes against girls and women in New Delhi involve girls between 2 and 16 years of age. And realities such as these have been further compounded by globalisation. Even government documents have started acknowledging that �globalisation, indebtedness, and the widening income gap between the rich and poor countries may also exacerbate the problem of child labour� (India�First Periodic Report 2001, on the Convention on the Rights of the Child by GOI).
In South Asia, the income of over a billion people is declining and more than 100 million people are living on the streets. Many of these are young girls. Exit policies of the Structural Adjustment Programme are forcing women and girls to replace men in jobs. In the global culture, profit is God. �The desire to maximise profits, to command an utmost docile and flexible labour force is overpowering,� says the same GOI report. The spurt in exports has further victimised the girls�in cotton plantations across India, little girls, almost as high as the plants, work day and night to help manufacturers export cotton and fetch foreign exchange. The hosiery industry of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu was declared the highest earner of foreign exchange recently�children make up 20 per cent of its labour force. This fact was revealed only when a 13-year-old girl died after being fatally trapped in a weaving machine. India�s best cashew nuts are exported to enhance the inflow of dollars. But 10-year-old Chitra, who shells the nuts (a very smelly and sticky process) for export, was paraded in front of hundreds of other children in the workshed because she dared to eat one cashew nut�out of sheer hunger.
Girls do the most unskilled and the most tedious labour for the market. And given gender inequity, they are the lowest paid. When mechanisation arrives, boys tend to take over, as in the gem-polishing industry in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and the brassware industry of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. The contractual nature of employment today has heightened the levels of exploitation. The chain of contracting and sub-contracting makes the exploiter invisible.
Take the fashion industry: While designs are made in New York and the trainers are based in London, the master cutters are in New Delhi and Manila (Philippines), and the tailors are in the by-lanes of small South Asian cities. And it is little girls in Indian, Thai or Filipino cities who add the final touches�buttons or strings�to the garments. Payment: five to 10 paise for each button they sew.
The link between the commodification of women�crucial to the global consumerist culture�and the extreme exploitation of girls can scarcely be overstated. Market development has led to the growth of transport and the construction of highways. But this has only increased the woes of girls like 14-year-old Savitri, bonded to a dhabawala (highway cafe owner) for Rs 5,000. She works with 20 Nepali girls, day and night. Truckers frequent the dhaba often�both for meals and for girls.
Apathy, violence and cruelty are now accepted as �normal� behaviour. Our young girls are paying for a �globalised� India. (WFS)
Hey, please leave my country alone! Do you prefix all your searches with "India"? Not only that, you post such articles in the Job Discussion. My country got its freedom just 50 years back. It is a former-colony. It is poor. Why make an issue about it?? The Govt does not do as much as it should. What ever little progress we are making at whatever pace is mainly due to the personal initiative and the drive of the common people? I find such posts sickening. It is almost as personal as somebody calling my mum ugly or my Dad poor!! Let me know the country of your origin. I can come up with articles of human rights violations myself in your country. But I would send them across to you as personal messages!!!
Joined: May 20, 2003
Sarah, India is stealing jobs from america. American buying power is declining. Americans are loosing jobs so I think this posting is perfectly legitimate for job discussion. But however I would like Natalie to justify her posting.
Comming from a western country, I am 220% with Sara and Praveen on this. Its a fact that on this planet the countries are in different stages of "wealth" and "development". Child labour is a different market than the market on which we are competing. How those things will ever change if not through a growing productive middle class, result of integration in world market?
Hi, I think Natalie posts the article in the wrong forum. It does not directly related to what affecting us related to jobs in US. Globalization is evitable, thanks to internet and John Nash whom Hollywood made movie about. The problem in globalization is it happens too fast. It supposes to go step by step like it was in the hardware days. Since 9/11/2001 the pace of globalization is in warp speed. American and European workers were and are not in proper preparation. I only reiterate what certain rancher(sorry forgot the name) comment, it is not India. As long as the country in low living standard with decent education system will fall in the target of outsourcing radar. Cheers, MCao
Matt, There is a solution for every problem in his world. And ofcourse there is a solution for outsourcing. US, Germany, France, Australia etc every country has to deal with this. I have seen an article where in locals in australia and locals in germany are loosing jobs because of outsourcing. Now the point is how each country deals with the issue is a different issue. Since history in order to deal with the trade and other humanitarian issues, countries have evolved themselves with borders after fighting wars. And later on All countries came with border security, immigration and visa systems. Now we in the digital world have elevated to a level where in we have to deal with outsourcing. So Sure theses country will have to come up with some sort of rules and regulations so that there is law and order in trade even though it is free trade. With out law and order there wont be balance to this world. [ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: Menaka gangamavari ]
Originally posted by Praveen Pranum: Sarah, India is stealing jobs from america.
This is a completely baseless allegation. India is NOT stealing anybody's job. American corporations are selling out their country to maximize profits. They've done so before in the manufacturing sector and they are doing it now in the IT sector. They'll do it tomorrow in god knows what sector. Also, today they are outsourcing to India, tomorrow they'll outsource to Mexico. It were the Americans who pushed for WTO etc. and hundreds on American companies were eager to tap the Indian marked (best examples: Cocacola, pepsi. Thanks to them there is ABSOLUTELY NO Indian softdrink company left.) Now if that Indian companies are proving to be more cost effective in some fields, you should be a man enough to face the competition. If US companies are better at something, Indian companies are better in something else. If you got a problem with it...well, keep crying. Because this is not going to end.
I'm just saying...it's right there!
Joined: May 30, 2003
Originally posted by Pakka Desi:
Now if that Indian companies are proving to be more cost effective in some fields, you should be a man enough to face the competition.
I am a woman and I dont want to be a man. Being a woman I can compete with a man.
Originally posted by Pakka Desi: This is a completely baseless allegation. India is NOT stealing anybody's job.
.. And that guy is claiming that he love India. IMO, he is doing more damage to India than an enemy of India do. Mr. Praveen, You said you were loyal to your employer for 5 years and you would be loyal to America... That is hard to believe.. If you are not loyal (atleast show some respect) to the country which fed you and gave you shelter, which gave you good education, it is hard to believe that you would be loyal to anyone other than yourself. Tomorrow, if you are thrown out of America, you would come about and say all sorts of bad things about it. That is my opinion. .. And IMO, child labour in India is nothing to do with Job Discussion. [ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: Sankar Subbiah ]
Joined: May 20, 2003
Originally posted by Sankar Subbiah:
Tomorrow, if you are thrown out of America
Mr.Subbaiah I would never do anything to let that happen, so your wish will never be fulfilled. Good luck in your venture.
What about blantant human rights violation of poor Mexican Farm Workeers by rich American farm owners? Besides the low female ratio is also due to the complicated pregnancy and such issues. If you care to read the census carefully, you'll notice that in fact rural India has better female ratio. The state with lowest female ratio is Arunachal Pradesh and it's mainly due to lack of access to medical facilities as it's a "cut-off" state in eastern India. India's main problem is its poverty and political apathy to generate wealth from abundant natural resources, large man-power (woman-power as well) and diversity.
I agree with you, outsourcing will bring the much needed revenues to India, or for that matter to any third world country with decent IT professionals. However, I doubt if the first post was a pro-outsourcing message.
Joined: Apr 20, 2003
Originally posted by Praveen Pranum: Sarah, India is stealing jobs from america. ...But however I would like Natalie to justify her posting.
Oh yeah??? And, I would like you to justify your statement??? I would also like to say one thing about your own stand - if you can be so blatantly and openly anti about your own country, I don't think you can be loyal to the country you choose to adopt!!! /Sara
Joined: Jul 06, 2001
Originally posted by Praveen Pranum:
Mr.Subbaiah I would never do anything to let that happen, so your wish will never be fulfilled. Good luck in your venture.
That is not my wish.. That is my opinion. Even though you showed disrespect to your motherland and your fellow citizens, I wish and pray for you to have a better future in the country you choose (whatever that is..). After all, you are an Indian by birth and I do believe that all Indians are my brothers and sisters. So, I wouldn't wish my brother to fail. Good luck..
Besides the low female ratio is also due to the complicated pregnancy and such issues. If you care to read the census carefully, you'll notice that in fact rural India has better female ratio. The state with lowest female ratio is Arunachal Pradesh and it's mainly due to lack of access to medical facilities as it's a "cut-off" state in eastern India. India's main problem is its poverty and political apathy to generate wealth from abundant natural resources, large man-power (woman-power as well) and diversity.
Quite Right if you see male : female ratio in some backward state like hilly areas of uttranchal then there are more females than males just because of the huge male population migration towards the metro cities in search of work, Same thing is also happening in China which has reported 60 million rural population migration to urban areas =in last three years just because the lack of work, similarly there lot of knowledge workers moves from developing countries to US and other some developed countries just in search of better opportunities as a result the migrant areas become poorer and poorer in the proportion. Dear Natalie Kopple I think youhave no Idea about the NGO's which are working in India and other developing countries they just exaggerate the data and try to convince the funding agencies in western countries that situation i alarming and we need funds and where those funds are gone god Knows ??
Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Hi Menaka, Yes I believe there is solution for everything. There is also regulations existed in dealing with outsourcing side effects problems. But it were full of holes. I think the best solution is every company that involved with outsourcing has to pay me 2% in dollar in each fiscal quarter for me not to curse all executives including politicians in my sleeps. Seriously, if at work you learn news your friends or ex-colleagues were out of jobs because of certain smart ass company decided outsourcing and come home to learn three or more members of your family also out of works because of outsourcing. Mind you that they were all in different field of disciplines. How do you feel? The only feeling I have now is Bush days are numbered. But who will feel the vacuum is even more dreadful to think. In US, the only person who could feel the vacuum power of Bush is Hillary Clinton. But any woman who was in cahoots with her husband to avoid his impeachment just to gain her own political agenda is too dangerous to be in the presidency post. China's history also mentioned a woman similar like Hillary, China was worsed when that woman turn to control China. Regards, MCao