Analysis of School-Dropouts and the Child Labour Problem

The child labour problem is the highest form of slavery and the first human rights issues to arouse international concern. Yet according to the latest census reports of 200 million Indian children in the age group of 5 to 14 about 11.3 million are labourers. In fact, over 60 million child labourers in India work in carpet, bangle, matches, firework, and pottery making industries and as a domestic helps. The carpet industry alone has 3,00,000 children working in it. A close look at the child labour situation in Delhi show that 3 million children in the age group of 6-14 years, a million are child labourers of which 2,00,000 work, as domestic help and almost an equal number are bonded labourers.

To everyone’s knowledge, no proper measure is taken legally or even humanly to save these children. A major reason is that because of the lack of political will and inaction mainly because children are not vote banks. The motivation for the application of fuzzy set theory to the design of databases and information storage lies in the need to handle imprecise information. The database that can accommodate imprecise information can store and manipulate not only precise facts, but also subjective expert opinions, judgements and values that can be specified in linguistic terms. Here we have adopted fuzzy relational algebra to the data obtained by us which contain opinions of experts about child labour. We use Computer coding (SQL statements) to program the tables

The approach to child labour is often status-quoist, and at other times casteist, and no political group is willing to divert its energies towards the solution of this problem. While India’s communist parties blame child labour solely on poverty, the right-wing parties have at times expressed the view that child labour is essentially skilled labour that has to be utilized. NGOs and other volunteer organizations, of course, have their intervention and rescue programs; but unfortunately not all NGOs working towards the eradication of child labour are aboveboard, some of them pump up the figures, in order to obtain substantially greater amounts of funds. While this haunts the child labour problem, we decided to study the lives of child labourers, in order to comprehend the larger social problem, i.e. child labour. We chose to study child labourers who are employed in restaurants, hotels, teashops and other eatery joints. For the purpose of our study, we have selected a sample of 29 children from the age group of 11 to 14 years who are employed in small teashops and mini-hotels in Kasimedu in Tamil Nadu. We queried into their backgrounds, their ambivalence towards education etc. We found out among our sample that only five of the children weren’t interested in reading; for the rest of them education was stopped due to poverty. The children labour, on an average, work for ten hours a day. They also mentioned pathetically that their earning was crucial for the sustenance of their families. Among the 29 children interviewed, 27 belonged to the oppressed dalit community and 2 were from the Most Backward Castes (MBC). Their earnings were meager and ranged from Rs.20 to Rs. 50 per day. We have used Fuzzy Associative Memories to analyse this problem and derived interesting conclusions.