Child abuse is a social evil that has prevailed since ages and is still continuing in the present modern society. Children of all age groups are exploited in various ways. In rural and urban areas alike, many of them are robbed off their right to study and have a peaceful childhood. They are forced to toil hard and work in filthy dangerous conditions to earn a meager amount for their families. Many children are blinded intentionally or have their limbs chopped off and are made to beg on the streets. We have heard cases of children working in fireworks and glass factories. Many children are made to work as domestic helps in urban homes. Besides child labor, we have often heard of cases where children are kidnapped and hit almost to unconsciousness for not being able to work properly. Juvenile crime is also a result of the exploitation of children. Children working in factories and mines etc. are vulnerable to chronic diseases, toxic wastes and ailments. They survive on dumped and garbage scrap for food. Many children find shelter in pipes or in broken construction sites. Many documentaries, movies and articles have covered incidents of child abuse. National and local dailies are flooded with news of exploitation of children of age groups. Media has played an important role in highlighting this social issue.
The reason child abuse is still practiced in large numbers is primarily poverty. The vices like poverty, illiteracy and unemployment force and drag families and their children into the vicious circle of child exploitation. Many rural families force their children to work because of dearth of money and proper facilities. There are communities where all the children are sent off to towns and cities to earn money by doing odd jobs and send it home. Crime and corruption among the administrative people, authorities and officials create greater difficulties for these people. The funds diverted for their betterment often disappears among these officials itself and they reap no benefits. The laws and rules framed against child exploitation stay only on paper and are not implemented due to the inefficiency of our government officials. Unawareness among the families of these children adds to the causes.
Many NGOs have started taking initiatives to educate such children and their families. UNESCO and UNICEF have educated villages as a whole and created employment opportunities for them. Such initiatives coupled with individual initiatives from the families and people involved can help eliminate such problems.