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Monthly Archives: May 2010

My own poem

After my major examinations
I was lost in games
After getting my results
I was happy over the clouds

Making a decision
I can’t make up my mind
I chose to go to an Institution
Where I made new friends

First day of Secondary life
Was like a deep blue ocean
I was mixed with strangers
Where I feel very lonely

The orientation was done
I sure had lots of fun
I realised I made some good friends
Our relationship  never ends
Cross every obstacle we must
Never lose each other’s trust

Now in my own class
The noise could break a glass
The monitor quiet the class by shouting
But not really everyone was listening

Now with new friends
Giggles never ends
We got tired of it
Trying to change a bit

As the time flies
Two terms passes
We know each other like a book
Knows what they think at one look

My new school is not small
But definitely smaller than a mall
Now, flag-raising in the hall
As well as games of ball
Most people in my class are tall
But not taller than the wall

But don’t you ever fret
Its still not late to regret
Don’t act when it’s too late
Or this shall be your fate

This is truthfully done by myself.

©2010 Wen Feng’s LA Blog 😀

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Part 2: Primary Schools’ memories

I did not know what my school logo resembles, nor it has a school badge. My school sang the National Anthem together as one, not separately. Well, I could maintain my shoes cleanliness almost everyday. I have a school field but only open to soccer players!!! This is a good and bad news. Is it good or bad then? No scouts as co-curriculum activity in my school. Too bad then, I can’t admire their bare thighs…! Everyone in my class were of middle types. Not rich and not poor. Absolutely no chauffeurs! Mathematics was quite an interesting subject as the syllables were not as tough as Secondary one. My class don’t really do “heroic” things. They were hardworking, trying to seize every mark to A*. “Kiasuness”. My only Community Involvement Programme is the Seashore Life Programme. We were tasked to go to East Coast Park EVERY YEAR to pick rubbish. It was boring. Going for 6 times, same location…T_T. I don’t have a yearbook too.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Analysis of the poetry

My badge has a Latin motto
Hope for the future
The future is hope
Or something

—————————————-

The first stanza tells us about his school badge which has a Latin motto. It symbolizes “Hope for the future”. The future is hope or maybe something else. In this stanza, the poet is writing about his school badge and what it symbolizes.

At times black crows try to interrupt
When we sing the National Anthem
—————————————-

This stanza tells us that when the school was singing the National Anthem, “black crows” tried to interrupt. In this case, the black crows may refer to the mischievous children fooling around.
It is difficult to maintain
The whiteness of my shoes
Especially on Wednesdays

—————————————-
This tells us that the child’s shoes were hard to maintain it clean on Wednesdays. I can tell that they were having Physical Education that day. He would be on a field with dirty mud stained on his shoes.

I must admit there is something quite special
About the bare thighs of hardworking scouts
—————————————-

The poet is amazed by the bare and muscular thighs of the diligent scouts.

The Malay chauffeurs
Who wait for my schoolmates
Sit on the car park kerb
Telling jokes to one another
—————————————-

The poet’s schoolmates were all from a wealthy family. Their parents hired Malay chauffeurs to ferry them from home to school, and vice versa.

Seven to the power of five is unreasonable
—————————————-

The poet doesn’t really like Math at all.

On Chinese New Year
Mrs Lee dressed up
In a sarong kebaya
And sang Bengawan Solo
—————————————-

This is such an irony. It was Chinese New Year and Mrs Lee, a Chinese teacher wore a sarong kebaya and sang Bengawan Solo. Sarong Kebaya is a traditional Malay costume ad Bengawan Solo is a traditional Malay Song. A Chinese teacher wearing Sarong Kebaya and singing a Malay traditional song during Chinese New Year.  The teacher doesn’t seem to know anything about religions and cultures.

The capital of Singapore is Singapore
—————————————-

The poet has some understanding of Singapore

My best friend did a heroic thing once
Shaded all A’s

For his Chinese Language
Multiple-choice paper
—————————————-

This is not counted as heroic. His best friend may be weak in Chinese. As a result, he resorted to guessing with his luck.
In our annual yearbook
There is a photograph of me

Pushing a wheelchair and smiling
They caught me
At the exact moment

When my eyes were actually closed
—————————————-

The poet was helping a disabled when someone took a picture of him. Coincidentally, the poet’s eyes were closed at that moment.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Functional vs Dysfunctional Family

Functional vs Dysfunctional families:




Functional family means that an unbroken family with everyone in the family doing their roles. In the case of The Village By The Sea by Anita Desai, the functional family refers to Biju and the de Silvas.

Dysfunctional family means to be a broken family not in the case where the parents are divorced. It is in the state where one or more member(s) of the family is/are not doing their jobs. In the case of The Village By The Sea by Anita Desai, the dysfunctional family refers to Hari’s family.

Functional Family:
a)Biju
b)de Silvas

Dysfunctional family:
c)Hari’s family.


a) Biju’s family:

1. Biju’s wife wear gold bangles and seemed to be the richest person of Thul. Other villagers in Thul were jealous and could only afford to wear glass bangles because of poverty.
2. Biju has huge and strong boats with motors which can go to catch fishes 50 miles away from the shore.

b) The de Silva family:

1. They could eat bread or fresh big pomfrets every morning.
2. They could come to Thul for a holiday.

c) Hari’s family:

1. Kamal and Bela could only afford some attractive glass bangles instead of gold bangles,
2. Hari’s father had a boat which had been sold to clear his debts for toddy.
3. Hari had to fish with a small and broken fishing net which could only provide him some small and miserable fishes and shrimps.
4. Hari’s family could only afford to eat chapati every meal. They could not even spare some money to buy some sweets.
5. Hari feels that his house was filled with hopelessness. They have never travelled to another country, not even a city.


This are the differences of the Functional and Dysfunctional family. I hope that this would be useful for the upcoming test! :D! Cheer Up!!!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Preperation for the Village By The Sea test.

This is the softcopy of the sumary of The Village By The Sea. It can also be found in iVLE. I got it from there. As the test covers only from Chapter1 to Chapter 8, there is only the 8 chapters of summary.

Summary of all the chapters of ‘The Village by the Sea’

Chapter 1

This chapter begins with Lila praying at the holy rock in the sea. It clearly gives us an indication of things to come. Lila as a thirteen year old is doing what the mother in the family would do- namely offer prayers for the well-being of the family. It is also described as the most peaceful time of the day for her giving the readers a hint about the rest of the day being hectic or filled with problems. Anita Desai then goes on to give the readers a background about Lila’s family where the father owned a boat a long time ago which was sold to pay debts as a result he no longer fished, while the family bore the burden of a weak and a sick mother as well. When Lila gets back home she has her two younger sisters waiting for her to make tea so that they can set off to go to school (typically a role that is fulfilled by the mother). Desai provides us with a detailed description of their home with its crumbling earthen walls, dry and tattered thatched roof, a clear symbol of the hard times that the family was facing. The only one who seems to be standing by Lila’s side appears to be her younger brother Hari who seems as trapped in the situation as she is herself. Both have quit their education due to poverty but seem to be managing to keep afloat because of their sheer determination and will to survive. Lila takes care of home and the sick mother lovingly giving her tea with extra milk to nourish her while Hari finds ways and means to make money by running errands, selling coconuts and also takes his younger sisters to school. All the children are scared of the father who has resorted to drinking alcohol to drown his sorrows leaving his family to fend for themselves, but though Lila worries about him Hari has grown to hate his father because of him shirking his responsibilities. A change in the situation seems to be on the horizon with timber arriving onto a site where a factory has been proposed to be built. The youth of the whole village seem to be swept away in this excitement, only Hari realizes that this may take a long time and meanwhile he needs to look for alternatives. Hari tries to work on their dry, arid field behind their hut and Lila gives him lunch which comprises of dry chapattis and green chillies (poor man’s food in India). Even their leisure time conversations are all about them trying to find solutions to their problems when Hari proposes that he may go to Bombay to work with the De Silvas.

In sharp contrast are Hari’s friends Bhola, Ramu and Mahesh who quit studying simply because it was too boring. They also believe that fishing and farmimg were for the uneducated without realizing they were on the way to being so themselves. They hope to get employed in the factories with high salaries and perks, but Hari seems to be the only one who realizes that they were probably not skilled or educated enough to do so. Bela  and Kamal help out in their own way by collecting the mollusks from the barnacles and we have a sharp contrast drawn between the village women and the family of Biju who seems to be the richest man in Thul. The kids manage to get through a normal day in the village without any untoward incidents except for the night where they sleep terrified of their drunken father. Lila worries that the toddy will destroy his health where Hari wishes him dead. In the night once they all retire the night is described to be full of fear, anger and nightmares.

Chapter 2

This chapter shows a little hope in the lives of the children. Hari has managed to sell coconuts so Lila has money to shop for provisions. She goes to the village market dressed in her best sari feeling younger and prettier. She meets her friend Mina who urges her to come to see the village play. This incident clearly shows us how the village seems to be blissfully unaware of the problems that Lila and Hari are going through. Meanwhile the village seems agog with the talk about the construction of Biju’s boat, which was supposed to be the first motorized boat of the village that will also have a deep-freeze.

Biju shows off to the villagers by making a big deal of how much he has spent on the boat, while the villagers out of sheer envy do not let go of one opportunity to ridicule him. Hari meanwhile dreams of Bombay with its bright lights. He feels it’s a very rich city and he might be able to make money only after going there. Hari would have kept worrying about their circumstances if it were not for the unexpected relief in the form of the De Silvas who arrive at their holiday home Mon Repos. The next few days Lila and Hari are kept busy running errands for the De Silvas in return for payment which they give them before they go back to Bombay. This time however things are a little different as Mr. De Silva asks Hari if is father would like to work as the watchman of their holiday home. Hari supports and brings his father to talk to Mr. De Silva but he refuses after seeing the drunken stupor that Hari’s father is in. Hari feels humiliated and enraged. Hari’s frustration mounts and he wants to escape his world of troubles, he also wants to put a smile back on his sisters faces but feels weighed down. It is then he meets the watchman of the construction site of the factory who confirms his worst fears where he tells him that people will be coming from all over the country to work in the proposed factories. He also calls him and villagers ‘pumpkin-heads’ thus adding insult to injury. Hari realizes that he would never earn enough to take care of his family or marry off his sisters so he would probably have to go to Bombay to work.

Chapter 3

Lila and Hari’s mother’s health takes a turn for the worse and she is now also suffering from high fever. Since there is no doctor in the village and the closest medical help was only in Alibagh they resort to asking Hira-Bai for help. She is the mother of the scary Khanekar brothers who are after Lila’s father to pay their debt. Bela and Kamal are scared but still go down to the Khanekar estate to ask for help. Hira-bai sees them and enquires if they have come to borrow money from them to buy toddy, rice, tea or anything else. It was then they manage to tell her that they were there to ask for her help as their mother was worse off than before. She offers to send for the Medicine man for help who apparently has herbs and powders that can cure illnesses. Pinto who follows the girls is hit by one of the Khanekar brothers and comes back home howling and limping with them. The Medicine man arrives and instead of attending to Lila’s mother first demands that his ‘holy cow’ be given grass and water. He then built a fire into which he throws a handful of dried flowers accompanied by a whole lot of chanting, when the fire dies down he takes the ash produced by it mixes it with water and forces Lila’s mother to eat it claiming that it was purified ash. He then demands a payment and walks away with the only piece of jewellery  in the house which is their mothers old, blackened sliver ring. This part of the chapter gives us an insight into the superstition rife in the village and people who are willing to take advantage of that aspect. The day only worsens when on of the Khanekar brothers arrives to threaten the girls and demands the money that Lila’s father owes them and refuses to believe when they claim that they had no money. Rescue comes in the form of Hira- Bai who saves the girls and chases her son away but before he leaves he threatens to kill lila’s father and Pinto because he attacked him. Hari walks in to discover his distraught sisters and feels more helpless than he already is and they are unable to find a solution to their problems.

Chapter 4

Hari goes to the beach to see if he can get a job on Biju’s boat. The boat is almost done and it has been named Jal Pari and the villagers make fun of Biju’s boat and the name. Meanwhile the watchman comes along to add insult to injury and explains how the new boat was of no use as the government would soon take up the land for the new factories that were to be built. Hari’s friends are very excited at the confirmation of this news while Biju says he refuses to sell his land. He then confirms that there will be people brought in to work from different parts of the country and the villagers would definitely not be hired. Ramu is enraged. The village is filled with anger over the prospect of the government taking away their lands and a crowd collects outside the village temple by Adarkar and was a member of the legislative assembly, who egged the people to go to Mumbai with petitions so that they could not take away their lands or destroy the fish in the sea. Plans are made to collect at Rewas at the pier to go in a boat to Bombay to meet the minister. Hari goes to collect some ice for his sick mother all the while caught in the dilemma of wondering whether to stay back or accompany the villagers to Bombay. By the time he goes back more disaster awaits him and he finds out that Pinto has been poisoned and killed. His sisters are grief stricken, and this proves to be the last straw as he feels frustrated by the debt, the poverty, the grief and the helplessness surrounding him and instantly makes up his mind to go away to Bombay and put some distance between himself and his problems.

Chapter 5

Biju’s boat is ready to be launched and he is full of pride. Biju gets the boat decorated with flags of different colours made from his wife’s sarees. All the villagers poured out of their huts and houses to watch. His wife breaks the ceremonial coconut to launch the boat. But when the winches that support the boat are removed and it was heaved onto the greased tree trunks to move it smoothly into the water the boat nearly topples over causing Biju to get very angry. All the people around laugh at Biju’s misery. When one of the young men informs him that people from Alibagh and Thul have gone to Bombay to protest against the factories, so that they can continue fishing and farming Biju tells him that they are not aware of the right way to do both these professions. That’s when Ramu still with his sense of undying optimism taunts him by saying that they are clever because they will be getting jobs in the factory which will not only be safe but will also give them plenty of money in their pockets. The workers are unable to launch the boat then and even after the tide came in. She is finally set to sea in a very quiet manner and without pomp and show a few days later ignominiously in the dark of the night. Meanwhile Hari has set off for Rewas.

Chapter 6

Hari has managed to get a lift from a kind bullock cart driver to Rewas. He reaches the peirs where the boats with the protestors are getting ready to leave for Bombay. The Rewas pier is teeming with people. Hari is almost trembling with a combination of fear and excitement. The boat fast filled up with men and boys of different ages and sizes and they were also dressed in their cleanest clothes. Adarkar was the organizer from Alibagh and called out instructions as the people filed onto the boats. The boats set off and all the way the people sang and shouted with Adarkar constantly shouting to remind them of the whole purpose behind the trip that they were undertaking. Food and tea are passed around and Hari to manages to get some refreshments as he is mentally preparing himself for the hard times ahead as he gears up to find employment in Bombay as he knew it was going to be the most strenuous day of his life. Hari is awestruck by the sights, smells and the sounds of the city. He is shocked with the amount of traffic as the crowd from Alibagh heads towards Kala Ghoda running across the roads not in the least bit mindful of the traffic or the traffic lights. The police of the town appear and pass derogatory comments on them when they say that they had come to speak to the Chief Minister. Meanwhile Hari and the villagers are transfixed by the sight of another procession, one that only comprised of women clearly showing the demarcation between the sexes in the villages.

Finally when they reach Kala Ghoda the crowd is addressed by a man named Sayyid Ali who appears to be an environmentalist and also a spokesman for the citizens of Bombay.

He informs the villagers of the long term side-effects of having a factory come up in Rewas. Hari is quite stunned that an urban man could have so much information about the lives of the people in the villages. Sayyid Ali further goes on to say that the factories would cause much pollution in the surrounding areas compiled with the fact that their lands would be taken up by the government, all these leading to them losing their livelihood and moving to the already congested Bombay in search of employment. Hari feels that the speaker was directly addressing him as he had come to Bombay in search of work. He is followed by a speaker from the meteorological observatory who spoke about the geo-magnetic observatory and how it would have to be moved if the factories are built. The third speaker is Adarkar whose speech the villagers actually comprehend as he speaks primarily from their point of view. The representatives of the people then decide to march on to the Mantralaya (the parliament house) while the people waited for them at the pier. Hari stays back, left alone and desolate, wondering what to do next. Meanwhile in the hut the girls are taking turns at keeping a vigil by their sick mother’s side, giving her sips of water putting wet cloths on her forehead trying to bring the fever down. They finally sleep completely exhausted and when they wake up they are surprised to find Hari still missing. Lila wakes up and sends Bela and Kamal to get ice for their mother and look for Hari. The girls run into Mina in the village who then informs them that Hari was last seen accompanying the protest march to Bombay. When the girls get back Lila has finished burying Pinto and they give her this latest piece of information. Lila is stunned at the fact that Hari had deserted them and realizes that it was now up to her to rise above  their troubles and come up with a solution and she also realizes that the prospect was frightening and difficult. Just when she is making up her mind to got to Alibagh to see a doctor for her mother the De Silvas arrive at Mon Repos again.

Chapter 7

Meanwhile Hari is still stuck at Kala Ghoda and he realises he was very hungry so he decides to buy some coconut water to drink. He is stunned that it can cost as much as 2 rupees where in his village all he had to do was climb a tree and get one for himself. The coconut seller finds him a smaller one and sells it at a cheaper price to him. He then gives Hari some advice on Bombay and on how the government really did not care for the people and all it did was eat into the income of the people by charging them taxes. He tells Hari that the best was to be free and independent and to reach out and take what was needed instead of being polite. Hari then runs into a beggar who offers to teach him the deceptive ways of Bombay and how to make quick money for a fee. Hari moves off as he comes across as a dangerous man and reaches an area right next to the sea. He keeps walking on till he reaches a beach where different kids of food are being sold and is crowded with people. He asks for directions to Mr. De Silvas residence and gets the impression from the vendor that the De Silvas lived in a very posh area. Hari lands up in Malabar Hill and finds the building where he has the unique experience of getting into a lift. He reaches the 10th floor only to be ironically told that the De Silvas had gone to Thul.The lift operator sees him hovering around the building and then offers to take him to a friend of his who will probably provide him with a meal. This man’s name was Hira Lal and had been the watchman of the building for 12 years. He takes his to see Jagu who runs a cheap restaurant. Jagu provides him with a meal and also a place to stay for the night.

Chapter 8

The Sri Krishna Eating house was a very shabby and a badly maintained restaurant run by Jagu and catered to cheap food for the labour class. The tables and chairs were covered with soot and cobwebs hung everywhere. As people had no fixed working hours the restaurant opened way before dawn and closed after midnight because of which Jagu had no time to clean up the restaurant or the money to decorate it. Jagu worked hard all day and had two boys to help him around in the kitchen. Hari requests him for a job in return for food and shelter and Jagu hires him offering to pay him 1 rupee a day. The other two boys spoke to each other in Tamil which was a language he did not know and they were not adept in Hindi or Marathi which were the languages he was fluent in. As a result they all worked in silence.

Hari would have probably continued like that if it was not for the owner of the shop next door called Ding Dong Watchworks called Mr. Paanwallah. Mr. Paanwallah tells him about Jagu and his kind nature and how he has often helped a lot of destitute children. Hari then remembers that he has a family to write to and borrows money from Mr. Paanwallah and goes to the post office to buy one. He addresses his letter to his mother informing her about his well being and lets her know that he is working in Bombay, feeling happy to have corresponded with his family but scared at the same time to have committed to staying back in Bombay for employment. Meanwhile Lila takes over the task of running errands for the De Silvas and also helps them in cooking and cleaning. Mr. De Silva offers to go to Alibagh for provisions the next day and that is when Lila sets her plan into action. Lila requests Mr. De Silva the next day to help her take her mother to a hospital and offers to pay him back by working for him. Even though she was sitting in the motorcar for the first time she could hardly enjoy the experience as her entire attention was on getting her mother safely to the hospital. Her mother is admitted in the hospital the doctors offer to take care of her. Mr. De Silva promises to bring her back to visit her mother and says that she should go back as her sisters would be helpless without her. When Lila goes back she is questioned by her father about the whereabouts of her mother. He is enraged to find out that she has been taken to Alibagh without informimg him and wants to go to be by her bedside. He also tells her that he would sort out the mess with the Khanekar brothers before he left. Lila is terrified that he would create a scene at the hospital but has no control over him so she lets him go. When she visits her mother at the hospital she is pleasantly surprised to find her father very sober and waiting in the verandah outside he mothers room. Even her mother is looking better had has been diagnosed with extreme anaemia and also having a touch of T.B. Mr. De Silva offers to pay the hospital bills and give her a salary. He even left a little money with her father as he stayed back in the hospital. He also informs Lila that after they leave a friend of theirs was to come to live at their house during the monsoons, and if she continued to help around the house then she would be paid well. In the last few lines of this chapter they finally receive Hari’s postcard.

Credit to Mrs. Anu

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Character Analysis of Hari and Lila

Hari:

1. Responsible:
*He picked coconuts to sell for some money to earn.
*He used a broken net to catch some miserable little shrimps and fishes for his family.
*He makes it his job to send Bela and Kamal to school and look for a job on Biju’s boat or in thhe new factory.

2. Pessimistic:
*He feels that his house was filled with complete hopelessness.
*He thinks that Biju’s new boat with the deep-freeze would freeze the fishes and result the fishes not being fresh.
*He feels that he would not be able to get a job in the factory without any skill or even a degree. He did not complete his education though  he still knows how to count.

3. Realistic:
*He feels that his sisters would have to get married one day and he must prepare some gifts for the in-laws. They might be demanding for things from him which he thought that his father should be the one doing this.

4. Cares for the parents?
a) Mother:
*He wasn’t really caring towards his mother when she was ill, instead, out of desperation, he leaves Thul for Bombay.

b) Father:
*Hari wishes that his father would be bitten by a venomous snake and die.
*He was embarrassed and ashamed when his father was ridiculed by Mr de Silva as he reeked of alcohol early in the morning.

5. Good Judge of Character?
No:
*He thought Jagu wasn’t a very good guy because of his thinking that people who dresses smartly are more of a sort of good guy. In this case, Mr Paanwallah was dressed quite smartly on the other hand which made Hari think that Mr Paanwallah was a good character.

Lila:

1.Responsible:
*She makes it her duty for making breakfast for her family everyday.
*She does the household chores frequently without being told to do so.
*She makes tea for her mother every morning to make her fell a bit better.
*She came back to look after her sisters when her mother and father were in Alibagh at the hospital.
*She still manages the house well and did not run away like Hari.

2.Optimistic:
*She thinks that her family living conditions would get better one day.
*She firmly believes that her mother would recover from her illness.
*She was relieved to hear that Hari was going to get a job in the factories and felt that Hari was  matured.
*She believes that Hari could earn money and pull their family out of poverty

3.Realistic but Hopeful:
*She knows that she could not watch the play with her friend, Mina, as she still needs to take care of her family.

4.Resourceful:
*She took the de Silvas’ car to Alibagh for her mother to seek medical attention when they were going to Alibagh to buy something.

5. Loves her parents?

a) Mother: Yes
*She plays her part as a dutiful daughter by taking care of her mother when she was ill.

b) Father: Yes
*She did not ignore her father when he demanded her to make chapati for her mother when he goes to Alibagh to visit her.
*She was worried but not hateful towards her father for drinking toddy. She was afraid that the toddy would harm her father’s health.

6. A good judge of character?

No:
*She got conned by the medicine man and gave him the family’s only precious jewellery.

This is the Character Analysis of Hari and Lila. Feel free to comment but NO COPYING!!!!!!!!!!!

© copyright WenFeng’s LA Blog 2010

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

My English Ace ( Child Labour )

One of my English Ace was about child labour.

Child Labour

The content page is about:

  1. Human Rights Organization’s perspective

  2. My view on Child Labour in India.

  3. India Government’s view on Child Labour in India.

1. Human Rights Organization’s perspective

Some percentage of child labour comes from brutality/ harassments by parents or stepparents. They are mainly from urban areas of poors. This percentage is too less and easily controllable by penalties to such parents and children rights. But rural poverty and lack of employment or partial employment and illiteracy has given birth to majority of child labour problem.

Nearly 30% of population in poor countries are poorest of poor who are not even able to earn enough for one day food with big family have to largely depend on children to earn and feed. Parents of these children are mainly illiterate or semi literate are unable to find jobs, which can provide enough salary. Dream of education to children is impossible unless suitable employment opportunities made available to at least one person in the family. Simply by opening schools and providing books are not sufficient measures. We need to understand the reason behind child labour that is poverty and unemployment. Minimizing poverty and creation of more and more suitable jobs to parents are the only solution of eradication of majority of child labour problem.

2. My view:

Child labour in India is a human right issue for the whole world. It is a serious and extensive problem, with many children under the age of fourteen working in carpet making factories, glass blowing units and making fireworks with bare little hands. According to the statistics given by Indian government there are 20 million child labourers in the country, while other agencies claim that it is 50 million.

Many poor children in India begin working at a very young and tender age. Many children have to work to help their families and some families expect their children to continue the family business at a young age.

India has all along followed a proactive policy in the matter of tackling the problem of child labour. India has always stood for constitutional, statutory and developmental measures that are required to eliminate child labour in India. Indian Constitution consciously incorporated relevant provisions in the Constitution to secure compulsory universal elementary education as well as labour protection for children.

Though most children begin working at a young age due to economic reasons, doing so allows them to break from some social constraints.

3. Government’s View:

The Indian government has tried to take some steps to alleviate the problem of child labour in recent years by invoking a law that makes the employment of children below 14 illegal, except in family owned enterprises. However this law is rarely adhered to due to practical difficulties. Factories usually find loopholes and circumvent the law by declaring that the child labourer is a distant family member. Also in villages there is no law implementing mechanism, and any punitive actions for commercial enterprises violating these laws is almost non-existent.

Child labour is a conspicuous problem in India. Its prevalence is evident in the child work participation rate, which is more than that of other developing countries. Poverty is the reason for child labour in India. The meagre income of child labourers is also absorbed by their families. The paucity of organized banking in the rural areas creates a void in taking facilities, forcing poor families to push their children in harsh labour, the harshest being bonded labour.

One Interesting Fact on Child Labour!

Apple admits using child labour

Apple has admitted that child labour was used at the factories that build its computers, iPods and mobile phones.

At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

The company did not name the offending factories, or say where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.

Apple also has factories working for it in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the United States.

Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. “In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment,” Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.

Apple has been repeatedly criticised for using factories that abuse workers and where conditions are poor. Last week, it emerged that 62 workers at a factory that manufactures products for Apple and Nokia had been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause muscular degeneration and blur eyesight. Apple has not commented on the problems at the plant, which is run by Wintek, in the Chinese city of Suzhou.

A spokesman for Wintek said that “almost all” of the affected workers were back at work, but that some remained in hospital. Wintek said n-hexane was commonly used in the technology industry, and that problems had arisen because some areas of the factory were not ventilated properly.

Last year, an employee at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that is one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, committed suicide after being accused of stealing a prototype for the iPhone.

Sun Danyong, 25, was a university graduate working in the logistics department when the prototype went missing. An investigation revealed that the factory’s security staff had beaten him, and he subsequently jumped to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment building.

Foxconn runs a number of super-factories in the south of China, some of which employ as many as 300,000 workers and form self-contained cities, complete with banks, post offices and basketball courts.

It has been accused, however, of treating its employees extremely harshly. China Labour Watch, a New York-based NGO, accused Foxconn of having an “inhumane and militant” management, which neglects basic human rights. Foxconn’s management were not available for comment.

In its report, Apple revealed the sweatshop conditions inside the factories it uses. Apple admitted that at least 55 of the 102 factories that produce its goods were ignoring Apple’s rule that staff cannot work more than 60 hours a week.

The technology company’s own guidelines are already in breach of China’s widely-ignored labour law, which sets out a maximum 49-hour week for workers.

Apple also said that one of its factories had repeatedly falsified its records in order to conceal the fact that it was using child labour and working its staff endlessly.

“When we investigated, we uncovered records and conducted worker interviews that revealed excessive working hours and seven days of continuous work,” Apple said, adding that it had terminated all contracts with the factory.

Only 65 per cent of the factories were paying their staff the correct wages and benefits, and Apple found 24 factories where workers had not even been paid China’s minimum wage of around 800 yuan (Pounds76) a month.

Meanwhile, only 61 per cent of Apple’s suppliers were following regulations to prevent injuries in the workplace and a mere 57 per cent had the correct environmental permits to operate.

The high environmental cost of Apple’s products was revealed when three factories were discovered to be shipping hazardous waste to unqualified disposal companies.

Apple said it had required the factories to “perform immediate inspections of their wastewater discharge systems” and hire an independent environmental consultant to prevent future violations.

However, Apple has not stopped using the factories.

In 2008, Apple found that a total of 25 child workers had been employed to build iPods, iPhones and its range of computers.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Uncategorized