Child labour: the engine of Pakistan's economy

Published: March 16, 2016
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We are confronted with a great example of hypocrisy in the form of a child working in a tuck-shop of a business institute which teaches its students about the evils and immorality associated with promoting child labour.

This glaring reality cannot be ignored. It is a real-life example of a practice that is widely written about and taught, but which passes unnoticed in our everyday lives. We must notice it and then reflect on the authenticity of the moral fibre present inside every one of us.

We are all surrounded by such great marvels of deception and hypocrisies. We have doctors in our midst, yet they blatantly harm others around them when they aren’t on duty or outside of their workplace. We also have lawyers in our midst, who will boldly strip off the rights of those they deem inferior to them just to be able to feel superior.

We have teachers in our midst, who will unreservedly fill our minds with biased information and prejudices, which have no affiliation with the truth or with education.

We have police officers in our midst, who are more likely to intimidate the innocent than make them feel secure. And we have the NGOs — the alleged preachers of humanity and equality, who are more concerned with amassing wealth than disseminating human rights.

We need only stop and reflect for a brief period of time and the picture will start becoming clearer in our minds. We have accustomed ourselves so much to the idea and practice of child labour that to us, it seems like it is a norm or part and parcel of our culture. We are thus standing so close to the tree that we are missing the view of the forest.

Until we come to terms with the contradictions, complexities and evil within ourselves, we are not likely to open our eyes to the injustice and hypocrisy that constantly surround us. Until we look into ourselves in introspection, we will continue to be entwined with this posturing and false virtue that fills the world. We are the ambassadors of empty-talk and preachers of hypocrisy.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2016.

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