It was surprising to read that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has framed guidelines for TV shows involving children after recently the Maharashtra government had sent notices to several production houses for the over-view of the conditions in which child artists work in their shows.
As regards the working of children in serials, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry does not find any fault with children working in serials as long as the parents have no problem and their studies are not hampered. The NCPCR has come up with a list of do’s and don’ts for those TV shows involving children: limited working hours, presence of a counsellor on the sets and little or no make up for the kids.
Here the question arises if a child from a poor family works even as a domestic help, this labour falls under the Child Labour Act. But if we are to compare the two different types of labour, one is not different from the other. In the case of the poor child, he/she works to earn money which can help the economic condition of the family with the consent of their parents. The child working in TV serials also works to earn money; otherwise the parents would have kept their children at home.
As regards the hazards, the children working in the serials work for long hours is missing out a child’s life of play and recreation and toiling hard under the strong heat of the lights and cameras that go on rolling once the shooting starts. The makeup is also harmful for the skin. They may be missing school and the school makes up for the loss of attendance for their student is popularising their institution.
How can the minister say their studies are not hampered? Working in daily soaps they hardly get time to study. And who knows where they will land up in future. As a child they are enjoying the stardom status, but future may not hold such sunny days for them.
Now it is time for the parents to think more about the hazards that are looming over their child and not sit back with a smile that their child has become popular at such a small age.
Here the question that can be raised, if a child from a poor family is earning for the needs of the family, the ministry should not interfere. Instead they should try and find out ways and means where these children can contribute financially to the family and at the same time get enough education for a steady and better future.