ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Children, Work and Education - II

For some it is a source of indignation at the social injustice which it involves, for others it is a yardstick to come down on irresponsive governments in the third world, and for yet others it is a natural consequence of an asymmetrical world economy. Child labour in India, when sized down to realistic proportions, remains a ignoble illustration of exploitation and exclusion but a less dramatic illustration than would appear from the exaggerated claims and studies by some western observers. In the tradition of Mamdani, it still often is assumed that children are an economic asset, and that the high fertility, leading to child labour income, is actually a conscious household strategy of rural families. In this, the second part of the article, this view is traced in the course of field work in two villages in Uttar Pradesh. It is argued that advocacy of schooling and of family planning is constrained by limited availability rather than by cultural (de)formations. [The first part of the paper was published last week.]

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