by dr.shriniwas kashalikar & dr.suhas mhetre

Any sensitive and sensible individual would not like a child to undergo the coercion of daily labor for survival. Apparently; this conscientious feeling has been transformed into international consensus against child labor.

Sadly though, it is being defeated repeatedly, thereby producing enormous STRESS; amongst the children forced into labor; as well as most of us who are witnesses! This STRESS is often not perceived and not identified clearly and sensed only as a vague and inexplicable agitation and sickening agony in the heart!

The failure of the international consensus and conscience; is due to the naive or deliberate lack of dealing with the root of child labor; and merely continuing with the philanthropic activities; and/or attempts towards arbitrary imposition of laws to ban child labor.

I have not gone through the international law or the details of WTO. But since most of us (the people of world) do not like children to undergo the coercion of daily labor for survival, there is international consensus about banning child labor. But in spite of this; the child labor continues. Our egalitarian desire of banishing child labor; through charity and laws; has not worked.

What is the reason for this?

The reason for this is; we have not gone to the root cause of the child labor. The egalitarian desires, charity and laws can be wishful, but not effective in banishing child labor; unless we have policies which rectify the root cause of the child labor.

What is the root cause of child labor?

The root cause of child labor is lack of spiritual and productive domains in educational policy. We; the students, teachers or parents in the mainstream education (in countries like India); are cut off from “ourselves” and our productive capabilities.

Further our education is generally cut off from the real life and hence we are “locked into unrealistic and parasitic education”! In other words; the our education is irrelevant to the current sociopolitical developments in different fields; such as philosophy, culture, traditions, literature, technology, economy, agriculture, environment, health, fitness and medicine, business, industry and so on.

This education is unnecessarily and highly dependent on high tech gadgets and books, calculators, computers and other teaching and learning aids and revolves around the elitist life (demands); neglecting the life (needs) of vast majority, naively or deliberately. This education policy is probably revolving around the vested interests of the manufacturers and dealers of the so called educational (earning and teaching) aids and material. In short it revolves around the needs and interests of few and being parasitic in nature; at the cost of vast majority.

In such highly alienated and expensive unproductive education system; majority of the children become suffocated child drop outs and the vulnerable and easily available helpless child labor.

Those, who continue in the education and get graduated; are unproductive and ignorant about current developments and transactions in the society and incompetent to get self employed. They are unable to get self-employed and either become frustrated and suicidal mental wrecks; or frustrated but indiscriminately violent arrogant criminals.

Hence child labor and the indiscriminate violence continue as if it is inevitable, because of a kind of helpless or callous passiveness; or frantic, unwise, sentimental and even hysterical uproar to stop it.

Child labor and the subsequent STRESS; can be conquered; if the education nurtures; on priority basis; the spiritual domain (self empowerment through self knowledge, self realization (through NAMASMARAN) and productive domain; besides cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains.

This can be done if we internalize introduce this is “YOGA” i.e. reunification of; reintegration of, or re-amalgamation of; or re-synthesis of spiritualism and materialism; and individually and globally benevolent perspectives, policies, plans and programs; in education!

In short; child labor can be effectively stopped mainly through the policy of holistic education as discussed under; “STRESS AND HOLISTIC EDUCATION”.

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