International Labour Organization has declared 12 June as the World Day against Child Labour and its a pity that the day is not recognized to the extent of a Valentine's Day or Friendships Day.
Today the scenario is such that the future of the child rests on the financial background of the parents and even though Right to Education has been awarded to all children below the age of 14, how many of us have really seen all the kids at school.
When we say Child Labour the thought directly goes to the children who work as Newspaper boys, Waiters at restaurants etc. But don't you think the acting in TV shows and films also come under Child Labour?
Though we know that acting is an interesting job and children enjoy it to the core as they are pampered on the sets, let us spare a thought on the kids who comprise on their enjoyable childhood and toil on the sets with rigorous schedules both for TV and films.
We contacted Rushi Raj's father to know how Rushi Raj is adjusting his studies along with acting as they are shooting in Vadodara for Imagine's Chandragupta Maurya. He says, "As of now we are shooting in Vadodara for which we have taken as an off from school. We have already taken permission from the school authorities for the same. For his VIII Std final exams we had been to Mumbai."
Jannat, who is the protagonist in Siddharth Tewary's Phulwa, is one of the brightest children in class and as any other proud father Mr Zubair Ahmed says, "Though Jannat is the protagonist of the show, she is not under any pressure like other actors who are working day and night. Once she finishes her class at 12:30 she comes for the shoot and works just for seven to eight hours a day. She makes it a point to complete her homework before the next day she goes to class and is one of the top scorers of the class. Her teachers have no complaints against her as well."
Zaynah, who debuted on TV with Aap Ki Antara and Ziya Vastani who was seen in the movie Bum Bum Bole will now feature together for the first time in SAB TV's Ammaji Ki Gali. How is Mrs Havov Vastani managing to keep her twin daughters grounded even after being actors, "Acting is something they like, but at the same time the school is very strict about their rules and regulations and do not bend it for anyone. Zaynah and Ziya are very down to earth and I make it a point that they are not treated in a special manner."
Well, what do the producers have to say on their child actors?
Yash Patnaik, Producer of Star One's Rang Badalti Odhani says, "Children who are talented should come by choice into the entertainment industry and not for the heck of limelight or force of parents. Children are taken good care of by production houses. Children are sensitive a lot and are handled sensitively and should be handled sensitively. It's all about values and upbringing and children need to be pampered."
Siddharth Tewary, Producer of Colors' Phulwa says, "The impact on children who are into acting profession is a very subjective issue. The children who are talented and have come into acting by choice rather than any other reason do well here. Children's life become hectic for sure but adjustments are always done in shoot keeping in mind the school timings. Children need to be taken care of on the set. We provide comfortable atmosphere on the set to Jannat and avoid giving her night shift unless it is unavoidable. Children's education is a priority and they should not act at the cost of missing out on education. Children who can balance acting and education should get into acting and children should never be forced into acting profession."
Well, Wordsworth had once said, "The Child is the father of the Man", but with time are we forgetting these lines?
Should children be allowed to be children to enjoy their life? This debate will go on and on...
Author: Saranya Valsarajan