A Children Hawking Wares at a traffic along Nnebisi road, Asaba, Delta State.
By Oye Chijioke.
The situation of many children in the country has become alarming as many has now become the breadwinners of their homes.
The children are said to be the future of a society, parents should understand that the future of the society depends solely on the hands of today’s children, if enabling environment is provided, tomorrow will be great and development will come, when a child began to do things adults should do then we say the child is being laboured, when a child begins to cater for himself, fend for the family, stay away from school, hawk commodities in the street, it is said that the child is being laboured.
At Asaba, Capital City of Delta state and it’s environs child labour has gone into the bone marrow of parents who think their children should be used to increase the income of their families, parents whom we think are lazy to take up their responsibility, they labour their children in different forms, street hawking has become a common thing among children, school have become no go area, despite the government free education and the emergence of educational marshals many children of school age is still out of school, parading the streets with goods given to them by their parents for sales, sometimes these children face a lot of challenges while trying to finish their sales on time and take the money back to whoever that sent them, the female teenagers among them end up been sexually harassed, and at times the males end up in the street either robbing or turns thugs, fewer children survives the trauma of taking charge of themselves at tender stages.
Street training endangers the lives of these children and exposes them to social vices capable of destroying their dreams, and the society at large.
A parent who pleaded anonymous noted that poverty makes some parents send their children out to hawk not minding the dangers, adding that some parents are also lazy, some are sick, some are without a husband or a wife, some are children without a guardian trying to put food on their table, while others ran away from home in search of greener pastures, so it’s a global problem especially in a developing countries like Africa, some governments made law to protect the right of a child, while some made written law that can never be implemented in the case of Nigeria, where adults defile children and get away with the crime, the woman also decline the attitude of parents who sends their children to trade not minding how old and strong they are.
According to her, there was an incident not quit long at the Benin-Asaba expressway a child was knocked down and died the child wanted to cross the road with a bucket of pure water for sale, that child lost his life for a product not worth more than #1000.
In another development, Mrs Susana Okolie noted that the government are not helping matters at all in respect of child labour, she explained that government should first make schools attractive, provide at least one square meal for children at the primary level and ensure that the task force organised for the monitoring of children that are out of school is effectively equipped for optimal functions, she further described the hope and future of such children as being bleak, these children are exposed to the world unprepared and that can cause a lot of hazards for the child and the society at large, adding that parents should endeavour to council their children and produce the ones they can cater for, not bringing children they cannot afford to train.
Child Hawking along a major the Street in Asaba.
“Training of children does not only involve food but strong moral development that will make the child fit for independent life style and probably secure a sound education for the children to prosper in their life endeavours”. She said.
The child law act, expresses the various levels a child could be laboured, both from parents, siblings, relations, teachers and the general public.
Dr. Cyril Ogodo Deputy Chairman All progressive Congress, (APC) Delta state, stated that when situation is not palatable like the case of Delta state, parents will take any action to sustain their families where poverty has become the order of the day, when a father has no job the child begin to play the role of a wife at home, he disclosed that to solve the problem, parents should ensure their children attends school, adding that the state government should providing free education up to secondary education and see that men are been employed.
“Senator Ifeanyi Okowa should stop the obnoxious policy of introducing school fees, it’s the right of children to go to school and should provide quality education in Delta state, the policy of the state drives children to the street for hawking”. He said.
On the part of the edu marshals, they have not done anything, they use that medium to syphon fund, he said the state don’t need the outfit because it’s unemployment that brought poverty and many parents cannot afford to buy uniforms, sandals, books, school bags and even the transport for children to school.
He suggested that the state government should rehabilitate the industries in the state, create new ones to absorb the teeming men who are parading the street for search of food for their children, and Okowa should reduce poverty in the state where over #10billion is allocated to Delta state from the federal allocation, been an oil state.
Poverty should not be seen among Deltans, he further advised parents to carry their destiny in their own hands and find alternative