2010-07-13

Child Labor

Somethings, they say, are ends in themselves. Not so, methinks.

About a decade ago, I was involved with an NGO, then in its incipience. Its focus then was more on education and health in remote areas. We used to meet every week to discuss what to do and how to go about. One debate was about Right to Education.

My view was, still is, that Education is not an end in itself. It is a means - to make one smarter, to widen perspectives and more importantly to be able to offer to the educated, more choices than he/she had before - particularly about the economic activities he/she may/would pursue.  However, the CEO's view, as is held by many, was that basic education - say, up to 10th standard - remains a non-negotiable right. It is an end in itself. Thus, the NGO would support someone's education up to 10th standard. What happens to the person after that is not necessarily the NGO's concern (beyond the scope of the NGO's brief).

 After his/her education, a person may not have resources enough to pursue further education; he/she may find it difficult to reconcile to working in jobs which he/she would have had he/she not educated; he/she may not find a job at all with the limited qualifications.

Prabaker, the friend of Linbaba's, in the book Shantaram, reminds Linbaba not to take moral stance about other people's lives. He tells Linbaba not try to attempt to change things about people's lives just because Linbaba thinks they are wrong. A person essays to pursue the best available choice. For someone from poor family, sending his/her child to school has an opportunity cost. If we take a moral stance on child labor, then we are effectively taking away an opportunity from those kids to earn their food, and that without giving an alternative. Action should go along with taking a stance.

Ban Child Labor! But, before that provide alternatives to those kids. Remember, Child labor, most times, is not out of choice.

2 comments:

Vinod said...

nice stance!

Welcome back.

Maria Mcclain said...

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and beautiful! hope u go for this website to increase visitor.

2010-07-13

Child Labor

Somethings, they say, are ends in themselves. Not so, methinks.

About a decade ago, I was involved with an NGO, then in its incipience. Its focus then was more on education and health in remote areas. We used to meet every week to discuss what to do and how to go about. One debate was about Right to Education.

My view was, still is, that Education is not an end in itself. It is a means - to make one smarter, to widen perspectives and more importantly to be able to offer to the educated, more choices than he/she had before - particularly about the economic activities he/she may/would pursue.  However, the CEO's view, as is held by many, was that basic education - say, up to 10th standard - remains a non-negotiable right. It is an end in itself. Thus, the NGO would support someone's education up to 10th standard. What happens to the person after that is not necessarily the NGO's concern (beyond the scope of the NGO's brief).

 After his/her education, a person may not have resources enough to pursue further education; he/she may find it difficult to reconcile to working in jobs which he/she would have had he/she not educated; he/she may not find a job at all with the limited qualifications.

Prabaker, the friend of Linbaba's, in the book Shantaram, reminds Linbaba not to take moral stance about other people's lives. He tells Linbaba not try to attempt to change things about people's lives just because Linbaba thinks they are wrong. A person essays to pursue the best available choice. For someone from poor family, sending his/her child to school has an opportunity cost. If we take a moral stance on child labor, then we are effectively taking away an opportunity from those kids to earn their food, and that without giving an alternative. Action should go along with taking a stance.

Ban Child Labor! But, before that provide alternatives to those kids. Remember, Child labor, most times, is not out of choice.

2 comments:

Vinod said...

nice stance!

Welcome back.

Maria Mcclain said...

You have a very good blog that the main thing a lot of interesting and beautiful! hope u go for this website to increase visitor.