With over 12 million child workers (on paper, possible there could be more than 60 million child workers) out of 440 million children, India is sadly the home to the largest number of child labourers in the world.
International Labour Organization defines ‘Child Labour’ as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to mental and physical development. It refers to work that:
- Is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and
- Interferes with their schooling by:
- Depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
- Obliging them to leave school prematurely; or
- Requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
Over 50% of children face some kind of sexual abuse in India.
Nearly 2 million children in India do not live till the age of 5.
79% of children below the age 3, have anaemia in India.
However, there are various child welfare organizations in India that are working very hard to pull them out of the extreme conditions and return their lost childhood. One such child welfare organization is Lakshyam, an NGO covering PAN India that works for building a safe, habitable world for the unfortunate lot of our society. Since its inception in 2004 till today, Lakshyam has touched well over 18,000 lives in 11 states and directly benefitted them. With over 4 projects working towards child welfare, women empowerment as well as slum development; it steers infallible schemes that would holistically benefit the poor.
Lakshyam currently runs two programs for child welfare, “Butterfly” and “Lakshyam Toy Library”.
Lakshyam launched a Child welfare program named “Butterfly- Child Welfare and Education” that symbolizes freedom with the wings of a butterfly. The concept of ‘Butterfly’ is based upon imparting the two most crucial aspects of welfare, a holistic education and well-round development. With this objective, children at Lakshyam are taught Hindi, English, Math and Computer Sciences, in purview of methodically filling in the gaps in formal education. When a child who is not very well-versed with English or computer language suffers in government or private schools, Lakshyam’s remedial centre provides free of cost tutorials
The other child welfare program by Lakshyam is “Lakshyam Toy Library”. Lakshyam has always believed that money is not the only thing that builds a childhood; it is love too. Widely unnoticed, but children develop a strong and deep bond with their toys. In times of loneliness, it is toys that keep us company. Unfortunately, being poor in India is not only lack of money; it is lack of love too. To fill in this gap in their childhood, Lakshyam came up with a brilliant idea of a Toy Library.
Lakshyam set up its first toy library 8 years ago with thousands of toys collected from various schools across Delhi. Now, it has 16 of them throughout the country. Children can access these toys whenever, however they want. Lakshyam’s aim to fill in this void in their lives has been so far successful. With storybooks and toys, Lakshyam wishes for the children to have a normal life without any depravity.