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INDIA: Children forced to labor in brick kilns receive education and support

Salesian-run Holy Child Auxilium School holds program to feed more than 200 children who work in brick kilns


(MissionNewswire) Salesian volunteers with Holy Child Auxilium School, operated by Salesian Sisters in New Delhi, India, organized a program in Jhajjar, just outside of New Delhi, for children who work in brick kilns. Coordinated by Victor Nazareth and led by Sister Maria Pettayil, funds were raised to buy food for more than 200 children. The Salesian community in Jhajjar provides education and help to children working in the kilns and children of furnace workers.

Salesian programs in India and around the globe help to combat child labor and ensure youth are able to have access to quality education. Child labor is associated with lower educational attainment and later with jobs that fail to meet basic decent work criteria. Those who leave school early are less likely to secure stable jobs and are at greater risk of chronic unemployment and poverty. Many of those who leave school early, particularly between the ages of 15-17, are engaged in work that is hazardous and classified as the worst form of child labor.

“Children who are compelled to work, even for a fraction of the day, are deprived of the education they need to learn valuable skills that lead to stable employment later in life,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Unfortunately, in many situations, children are being forced to work around the clock with barely enough time to eat, let alone study, and their prospects in life are diminished.”

Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.

Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.



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ANS – India – Social awareness program in Jhajjar for children working in kilns

Holy Child Auxilium School

Salesian Missions – India

World Bank – India