Published On : Sun, Dec 4th, 2016

Does this not amount to child-labour?

: Many citizens would have seen this family of four including two daughters, mother and father who are seen setting up a tight rope with the help of four bamboos and the kids performing on the tight rope.

Tightrope walking or funambulism is the skill of walking on a thin wire or rope. One usually can see this skill performance in circus. However, in a circus, the performer has a safety wire attached to his belt which prevents his falling down and incurring grievous injuries to their head. Various other safety measures like a trained artist keeps walking below the artist to catch him if he or she falls down while performing the tightrope walking in a circus.

However, this is not true in these street performers. Small children are trained and made to perform on the tightrope. While the father and the elder brother of sister playing a drum and banging a plate, the mother goes about to nearby shops and on-lookers to collect money. The child holds a big bamboo to manage his or her balance.

One can see these street performers on many squares including Coffee House Square, Laxmi Bhavan Square, Shankar Nagar Square, Bajaj Nagar Square where people who come for shopping watch the show and pay some money.

Often some very socially conscientious people go about lodging complaint about a small boy used by a tea vendor to serve tea to customers. Whenever, some labour officer from the Labour Commissioner’s Office or official of Woman and Child Welfare Department go to nab the accused tea-vendor, often it is noticed that the small kid is none other than his own kid. In order to save paying some other boy, these vendors use their own children and thereby saving some money.

Does this not amount to Child labour?

By Samuel Gunasekharan