On Tuesday, a new child labor law went into effect in New Delhi, India.  The law prevents children under 14 years of age from soliciting their services to employers.  Officials aim to take children out of the workplace and put them into schools.  Naturally, it’s a wonderful ideal; however, it’s not practical given the fact that these children are big financial contributors to their respective, impoverished families.  Without their earnings, many families question their ability to survive.  Rama Chandran, a 13 year-old busboy exclaims, “If I didn’t send money home, [my family] would starve.”  A 12 year-old, Dinesh Kumar expressed similiar concerns.  He said, “As it is, I barely make enough to survive.  This will be a bad blow.  I really don’t know what I’ll do.”  An estimated 256,000 children will be effected.

Rita Panicker is in charge of a non-governmental organization that works with street children entitled, “Butterflies.”  She addressed the government’s concerns for child rearing in her statements, “Bans and prohibitions will help if you put preventive mechanisms and rehabilitation mechanisms in place.  If you don’t do either, and just ban children from working..the children will be the ones who will be the victims of more oppression and exploitation.”  Unfortunately, the government hasn’t thought far enough ahead yet (a typical shortcoming of most governments worldwide), thus neither preventive nor rehabilitation mechanisms have been developed to aid the child ban.  The futures for effected children and their families remain uncertain. 

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