Study on Arunthathiyar children
Manual scavenging impact on Children :
•24% children dropped out from school; 3/4th were boys and 1/4th were girls.
•28 children (upto 18 years of age) from 200 Arundhatiyar families were working.
7 worked in agricultural farms; 12 worked in construction sites, factories and sales jobs.
•There was a high rate of indebtedness of all Arundhatiyar manual scavengers-ranging from below Indian rupees-10,000 to above 60,000. In the villages, large number of families had a debt of Indian rupees- 20,000; In municipalities- Indian rupees 30,000.
•Most loans were taken for the following three categories: medical, construction of homes and education.
•Irony of the situation was that none of the Arunthatiyar families covered under the study in the villages had toilets at home. Only less than half of the families had toilets in municipality or corporations.
School discrimination :
Majority of the students' parents (534) were daily wage earners working as coolie in various sectors.
262 children reported being abused and discriminated on the basis of their caste name.
607 children reported cleaning the schools bathrooms.
148 children reported doing the house hold work of their teachers.
228 children reported being sexually harassed in schools.
Almost 50% of children were denied scholarships opportunities.
532 children dropped out of schools mainly as a result of the discrimination and harassment.
•Almost 85% of the girls worked for more than 12 years.
•1/5th of the children who were working under the Sumangali scheme were illiterate.
•Almost 48% of the girls were enrolled into the scheme through the agents residing in the area and approaching the families.
•Most of the girls (around 98%) quoted ‘poverty’ as the reason for joining
the Sumangali Scheme.
•Nearly half of the girls under the Sumangali Scheme had worked or had been working with an agreed amount of Indian rupees 30,000/- after an aggregate agreement period of three years.
•The nature of work involved long hours of standing (around 12 hours) and working with bare hands operating dangerous machines. Nearly all girl children were forced to work and faced verbal and physical abuse.
Bonded children issue:
•50% of Arunthatiyar children dropped out of schools-mostly 5th standard onwards.
•36% of the children were separated from their family, this category of children were living with single parent or their grandparent or relatives.
•Amount of loan taken by the parents of the bonded child laborer-almost 71% of the loan size between 10 to 50 thousand Indian rupees.
•29% of the loan size was above 50 thousand Indian rupees.
•Nearly 3/4thof child bonded laborers monthly income was one thousand and five hundred Indian rupees.
•1/4th of child labourers earned an income of below 2 thousand Indian rupees.
•A child started working as early as 6 years of age; most children started working from ten years and above.
•Normal working hours were 11 hours-from dawn to dusk.
•Almost all 35 children reported caste discrimination at workplace by the employers-being called derogatively by their caste identity; practice of dual tumbler system; separate bed, food etc was followed for these children by their upper caste employers.