Rampura, a remote district inhabited by a tribal population, is marked by extreme backwardness and abject poverty. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local population, though it is primarily subsistence due to the very small land holdings. There is insignificant industrial or mining activity. Even the targeted welfare programs have inadequately benefited the tribal population. In this restrictive scenario, the youth has begun to migrate to other states to supplement the family income. Plight of minor girls is that their parents are persuaded by labour contractors to send them to work in the Bt Cotton farms of a nearby state. The soft fingers of the minor girls are well suited for plucking the cotton. The inadequate living and working conditions in these farms have caused serious health issues for the minor girls. NGOS in the districts of domicile and the cotton farms appear to be compromised and have not effectively espoused the twin issues of child labour and development of the area. You are appointed as the District Collector of Rampura. Identify the ethical issues involved. Which specific steps will you initiate to ameliorate the conditions of minor girls of your district and to improve the overall economic scenario in the district?


The case shows that the primary issue is poverty and backwardness among Rampura’s tribal population, which results in the exploitation of minor girls.

Ethical Issues Involved

  • The first ethical issue is that employing children in hazardous activities violates the paternalistic principle and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention.
  • The second ethical concern is that females are not receiving the education they are entitled to by India’s Right to Education.

It is clear that the situation has deteriorated as a result of the district’s welfare system failing, a lack of job prospects, and the ineffectiveness of NGOs and government organisations in addressing the issue of child labour. As Collector of the District, I would take the following steps to resolve the issues:

  • The District Collector’s direct supervision is required to promptly halt the employment of juvenile girls on Bt. Cotton fields.
  • I will ensure that all welfare initiatives are implemented successfully by directly dealing with people, identifying implementation issues, and then taking action against rogue officers.
  • I will improve school conditions, particularly mid-day meal programmes, to ensure that girls can attend school and receive adequate nutrition.
  • I intend to speak with public figures from various segments of society and convince parents not to send their daughters into Bt cotton growing.
  • I will advise the cotton-growing districts’ collectors to take action against farmers who employ minor girls in the field.
  • I will approach the state government about providing incentives to promote business and industry in the district.
  • To deter youth migration, the region’s employment options must be expanded.

Child labour is a crime, and as individuals, it is our job to speak out against it in order to make the world a better place to live in the future.

Addition Information- 

Bachpan Bachao Andolan 

It is a children’s rights organisation. Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, a Nobel Laureate, founded it in 1980. It fights against bonded labour, child labour, and human trafficking and advocates for all children’s access to an education. It has liberated over 88,000 children from servitude, including bonded labour, and assisted in their reintegration, rehabilitation, and education.

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