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Migration and Child Labour in Agriculture – A Study of Punjab

Listed author(s):
  • Goyal, Mini
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    The present study has been conducted to know the general profile, educational status, activities performed and income of the migratory child labour vis-a-vis the natives engaged in agricultural activities in Punjab. The study is based on a sample of twelve villages randomly taken from three agro-climatic zones. In all the villages, 302 children working in agricultural sector were identified and all of them were the respondents of this study. It has been found that about one-fourth of the child labour working in agricultural and allied activities in the state of Punjab are migrants from other states, viz. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Most of the migrant child workers were in the age group of 12-14 years. The ratio of female child labour was higher in migrants than in natives. A very high number of child labour belonging to both migrant and native families were from scheduled caste families. All the migratory working children belonged to the landless families of labourers. The educational status of the migrant child labour portrayed a very grim picture. None of them was found going to the school and the reason behind their absenteeism was migration from other states. The child labour was belonging to the low income families. Children were engaged in various agricultural activities such as ploughing, sowing, irrigation, paddy transplantation, crop watching, cattle grazing, crop hartvesting wheatear picking stubble harvesting, pea plucking, cotton picking, potato digging, etc. Children were also employed in dairy farms and poultry farms. The wage earnings of working children were meagre. Special schools for migrants in the rural areas of the state can be opened where they may be taught through their mother tongue. Night schools or schools on the pattern of Charwaha Schools of Bihar may also be started to cater to the needs of working children. The study has also suggested that more employment avenues for adult labour, especially for the women in the villages of the state, should be generated through promoting agro-based industries and traditional handicrafts such as embroidery, pickle-papad making, etc.

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    Article provided by Agricultural Economics Research Association (India) in its journal Agricultural Economics Research Review.

    Volume (Year): (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2011 ()

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aerrae:119393
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