Breaking poverty's cocoon

24th March 1995 at 00:00
Child shoeshiners, rag pickers and other street workers in India are turning to the UN Convention of Human Rights of the Child in their fight to persuade politicians to recognise their union.

The government is reluctant to recognise the Bal Mazoor union despite its legal victory last year when the Indian Supreme Court ruled the organisation lawful.

A welfare group called Butterflies is leading the struggle on behalf of the country's 20 million, mostly illiterate, street children who eke out a living in the cities. Butterflies is run by Rita Paniker, a sociologist, and her agency helps the street children run projects such as tea stalls from which they keep the profits. It also tries to provide lessons and health programmes, often asked for by the children themselves.

The agency, which derives its name from the fact that the children, like the insects, have short but colourful lives, receives funding from Germany, the Netherlands and France.

At least one third of India's productive economy depends on child labour and the Bal Mazoor union aims to win them the same rights and protection as adult workers.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now