India is the country where child labour figures are most dramatic. It is the country with the highest number of workers under the age of 14, and of the 168 million child workers worldwide, 78 million are Indian.
Mani Tese is active in India with the project “Fighting and prevent modern slavery in Tamil Nadu”, a state in the south of the country characterized by the large presence of textile industries. Here we work, together with our partner SAVE, to prevent and combat child labor.
Unfortunately, the outbreak of the pandemic has worsened the economic conditions of families and consequently the phenomenon of child labor. Below are some brief stories that have come to us in recent weeks from Tamil Nadu.
Alisha is 11 years old and lives in Muthu Nagar. Her parents have migrated from Bihar in search of work and the family is composed of 8 members in total. In this moment of great emergency due to the situation related to Covid-19, and due to the difficulty of finding work for her parents, Alisha is forced to work in a textile factory. Specifically, she is in charge of unraveling waste fabric from garments and making decorations for clothes. Every day she can make up to 1000 decorations, but she earns only 50 rupees, equivalent to 57 euro cents.
Shanmathi is 10 years old and lives in Eswaramoorthy Nagar. His parents both work in factories: his father as a tailor and his mother in quality control. The family consists of 4 members in total. Shanmathi has also been working in the factory for about a year now and is in charge of trimming at the Shiva Tex company. In one day he works up to 70 pieces and can earn a maximum of 21 rupees per day, equal to about 24 euro cents.
Masum Raja ha 9 anni e vive a Muthu Nagar. Come Alisha, anche i genitori di Masum Raja sono emigrati dal Bihar e la famiglia è composta in totale da 6 membri. A causa delle difficoltà economiche dei genitori, Masum Raja ha cominciato a lavorare in una fabbrica tessile dove realizza decorazioni per magliette. In un giorno può lavorare migliaia di decorazioni o sbrogliare un chilo di filo, ma guadagna soltanto 30 rupie, equivalenti a 34 centesimi di euro.
Masum Raja is 9 years old and lives in Muthu Nagar. Like Alisha, Masum Raja’s parents also migrated from Bihar and the family consists of 6 members in total. Due to his parents’ economic difficulties, Masum Raja started working in a textile factory where he makes decorations for t-shirts. In one day he can make thousands of decorations or unravel a kilo of thread, but he earns only 30 rupees, equivalent to 34 cents.
Swetha is 12 years old and lives in Eswaramoorthy Nagar. Her parents are tailors and work in the garment industry. However, their income is not enough to feed all the family members and so Swetha is forced to work. In particular, the girl does trimming at the textile company Divya tex and earns 30 paise for each piece worked. In one day Swetha can trim up to 100 pieces and therefore earns, at most, 30 rupees per day, about 34 euro cents.
Abirami is 12 years old and lives in Thennampalayam. Her dad is a day laborer and her mom works as a quality control officer in a garment factory. Her family consists of 5 members in total. Abirami, who is also forced to work to increase the family income, does finishing work and earns 35 paise per piece. In a day, she works about 100 pieces, so she usually manages to earn 35 rupees per day, equivalent to 40 cents.
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