Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Child workers in India: an overview of macro dimensions

Mukherjee, Dipa (2010): Child workers in India: an overview of macro dimensions. Published in: Prankrishna Pal, Alok Bhaumik and Kausik Gupta (ed) ‘Emerging Issues in the Indian Economy’, Regal Publications, New Delhi, 2011 (2011)

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Child labour is in focus for last two decades as it robs children of the chance to enhance human capital. This paper examines the Indian situation using data from 50th, 55th and 61st rounds of NSSO Surveys. Child Workers have declined from 9.1 million in 1993 to 5.8 million in 2004, declining by 0.04 percent per annum. Incidence of Child Labour is more in Rural areas, higher among 10-14 years age-group, and more prominent among Boys, and quite disparate across states. Another 30 million children in 2003-04, about 13 percent of total, are ‘Nowhere Children’. Incidence of Domestic Duties and Nowhere Children are higher among girls. Poverty emerges to be necessary condition thereby preparing the breeding ground but not sufficient to drive the children to the labour market. Lack of Educational infrastructure is found to be very important in this respect. This includes not only the physical but also the human component, which is emerging to be more crucial. Poverty alleviation programmes must therefore be complemented by expansion of educational infrastructure for eradicating child labour.

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