Snag is many of us don’t even see any wrong-doing in employing child labour for household work. And many who have a chokra or mundu in residence believe they are doing the unfortunate children and their parents a huge favour by giving them a livelihood. Children in household jobs are, in most cases, brought from the employer’s native village with the consent of their parents.
In a few cases a faithful boy from the village comes with a bride in the family, as part of the ‘dowry’ she brings. Our movies glorify child labour by portraying the leading man in a family drama as someone who came into the family as chokra . Viewed in the light of the middle-class indifference to the issue and the domestic compulsions of parents who send their children out to work in cities, The Hindu report makes refreashing reading. According to the report, it was the Mangalore media that first took it up with the authorities. The newspaper not only played the story on Page One, it also identified the wrong-doers - a local businessman and a doctor couple. Whether or not they get punished under the law such negative publicity may well be deterrent to others in their social circle.