At 4:00 a.m. I got up and did silk winding. . . . I only went home once a week. I slept in the factory with two or three other children. We prepared the food there and slept in the space between the machines. The owner provided the rice and cut it from our wages. He would deduct the price. We cooked the rice ourselves. We worked twelve hours a day with one hour for rest. If I made a mistake-if I cut the thread-he would beat me. Sometimes [the owner] used vulgar language. Then he would give me more work.
-Yeramma S., eleven years old, bonded at around age seven for Rs. 1,700 (U.S.$35) Karnataka, March 27, 2002.
According to the Census of India, 2001 there were 12.26 million working children in the age group of 5-14 years. Poverty, lack of knowledge, financial constraints, negligence about children and illiteracy were the main reasons for taking a child out of school and putting them to work in inhuman conditions for over 10-12 hours a day. In many cases, parents who are in debt to landlords put their kids into bonded labour to pay off the loan and the children are only paid a minimum wage.
For the price of a hamburger you can invest in a child's future. You can help stop child labour and keep a child in school.
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