Monthly Archives: January 2012

child labor in india, a controversially practical overview…

Child labor has been existing in our society for a long time now. It is one of the biggest social problems the country is currently facing as every year hundreds of children leave their homes to do menial yet dangerous jobs for a very meager pay. To top all of this, parents have refused to send their children to free school that offers mid-day meals even after education was made compulsory for all and child labor was made a punishable offense.
Now we wonder why this is so, what is stopping these families from taking up these opportunities…this makes us believe that lack of education and narrow mindedness is to be blamed, but is this truly so??
The families from where these child laborers come are mostly below poverty line. For such families affording one square meal a day for every member is a struggle. How can we expect these people to think about their child’s future education when they do not have the capacity to think of their future meal and guarantee their survival.
In such a situation, they send their children out to do these petty jobs so that the money that comes in helps guarantee at least one extra days meal. They do not send them out because they are against education, all that is secondary, they send them out for survival. I doubt any of us would have done it differently had it been us in their situation.
Taking into consideration that a family after much hardship manages to send their child to school, what is the point? The school is either closed or there is no teacher. If luckily these provisions are available, the mid-day meals that the school offers is too terrible to be given to children. The quality is so bad that even people below poverty level would throw it away. In such situations why on earth would any father send their child to school?
Starting from government reforms to non-government organizations, no one has been able to start and maintain most of these village schools, on what grounds do we force people to send their children here.
Now a lot of people shall turn their attention to family planning, I personally think that is secondary in this topic, I’m talking about the kids who are already working long hours.
Educating these people for family planning is truly important but telling them to send their children to school is like telling them to forget a day’s meal and I’m sure no one would accept that, not even us.
I would just like to make it very clear that I’m NOT for child labor, I’m just trying to tell you how a person living on one bread a day feels when he is told that he has to send his 11 children to school and forget whatever money they are bringing in just because its a good practice.

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A quick journey back in time…

On the 8th of january 2012 Statesman house organized its annual vintage and classic car rally, the venue like every year being the eastern command stadium situated inside Fort William. The rally this year saw 163 vintage cars and bikes participating, each of them unique and reeking of class.
The list of participants ranged from rolls royce, jaguar and hudson to austin’s and BSA bikes. Some of the participants also took part in the fancy dress competition where they dressed up according to the era of the cars they own. One of the participants, Mrs Brinda Ganguly Sarkar owner of a pink ’68 beetle bug was dressed in a hippie costume accompanied by her son. They resembled the hippie era which was also the era of flower power and was dressed in a very colorful fashion with the flowery clothes and to add to a little spice, her son carried a vintage video camera with him to record the event.
After speaking to most of the owners one thing was sure, these people really love their. Meeting Mr Agarwal, owner of the orrisa queens 50’s playmouth savoy, he says he received the car 12 years back in workshop in monohorpukur road which he bought and restored and today is most definitely standing proudly as a mark of aristocracy.
Another interesting car that I came across was the something that can be called the mascot of the entire rally, Statesman’s owned customized Model T Ford. The car, being a combination of sab green with blue borders stood in one corner as a symbol of The Statesman’s glorious past and how it has survived the test of time. Just above the grille was a customized golden fairy that was holding the ‘S’ of Statesman. The Statesman logo was also printed on the two doors.
Barring these there were ’37 Austins, ’26 Enfields mercedes 200, Cadillac’s and Rovers just to name a few of the many diverse beauties.
As the cars completed their wibbly wobbly test and was flagged off for the race, the entire city got a chance to see the aristocracy of old Calcutta once again. I really look forward to next year when I can re-live this experience of being a part of this classic era of the automobile industry.

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